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Wildlife

Reunited and It Feels So Good

Two years ago, about this time of year, I had an juvenile Rufous Hummingbird visiting my backyard feeder.  Late November and Nebraska are not the best combination for a hummingbird.  Once this little bird started to struggle and the outlook for its survival over the winter became dim, it was deposited at the Henry Doorly Zoo.  Here, the bird found refuge at the butterfly pavilion. Last week, I was back at the Henry Doorly Zoo.  I inquired whether the little …

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The Third Eyelid: Observations of the Nictitating Membrane

Since fish have fluid constantly cleaning debris from their eyes, their use of eyelids for this purpose is not needed. However, as animals have moved through evolutionary history from water to land, the eye has slowly evolved to include the eyelid and tear ducts, whose purposes were to help keep the eye clear and clean. Yet for an animal such as a bird that is often in constant motion, creating the potential for additional dryness and debris to interrupt the …

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Birding Keya Paha County

Work duties allow me to travel to all parts of the state and this past weekend I was stationed at the Turbine Mart in Springview, Keya Paha County, to check deer during opening weekend of firearm season.    Even though I was overwhelmingly consumed by work, I did have some slivers of time to enjoy some of the beautiful sights and birds in this area.   The Niobrara River valley is a remarkable place and birds were surprisingly numerous.  Large flocks …

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A Couple of Bucks

It’s nearly impossible for me, or any of NEBRASKAland’s staff, to go in the field on our own time and not photograph if the opportunity presents. The two bucks above are proof of that, as they were photographed on a recent deer archery hunt. In fact, the only way not to work is for us to leave our cameras at home. But why would we do that? There may be a photograph we need to take.

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Raccoon Behaviors

Whether it’s running down a tree head first or standing on hind legs to inspect an attractive aroma, raccoon behaviors can be fascinating to observe. Though easily identified by their distinctive black mask and ringed tail, witnessing a raccoon in the wild can pose a challenge due to their nocturnal nature. In the city, however, the odds of catching a glimpse of these mammals are considerably greater. With a population density and life expectancy higher than that of their country …

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