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Wildlife

Capitol’s peregrine falcons select new nest site

LINCOLN, Neb. – The peregrine falcon pair atop the Nebraska Capitol have apparently opted not to use the nest box placed on the 18th floor and instead have chosen a new site. The new nest site appears to be in a gutter at the base of the Capitol’s dome. One consequence of the falcons’ decision is that the nest and eggs are inaccessible and outside of the view of Falcon cam, which has provided streaming video of the nest box …

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Willows and Wings birding hike is May 19 at Willow Creek SRA

LINCOLN, Neb. – The public is invited to celebrate International Migratory Bird Month by participating in Willows and Wings on May 19 at Willow Creek State Recreation Area in Pierce County. This event includes a bird identification hike and an introduction to eBird, an online citizen science tool for monitoring bird populations. All ages and experience levels are welcome. No park entry permit is required as May 19 is Free Fishing and Park Entry Day in Nebraska. Flights of birders …

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Spring Turkey Hunters: Why Not Take A Jake!

You have a current Nebraska spring wild turkey hunting permit and habitat stamp. You go hunting. You set up along a field edge bordering old-growth, open woodland habitat. You strike your slate call: “Yelp, yelp, yelp.” You pause for a moment. A gobble echoes nearby. It sounds like a jake, a nearly one-year old  male wild turkey born the previous spring. A few minutes pass. All of the sudden, here it comes running right toward the decoys, with its bright blue, red and white head, small, …

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Teeming with Turkeys

Merriam's Wild Turkey

Nebraskans have become accustomed to seeing wild turkeys from border to border but it has not always been that way. When I was growing up in southwestern Nebraska in the 1970s and ‘80s, it was much more of a rarity to see them. Similar to many wildlife species, wild turkeys are native to Nebraska but factors related to Euro-American settlement wiped them out of the state in the early 1900s. Along with a lot of other wildlife, though, turkeys have …

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Bad Weather Birds

We’ve been dreaming about this weekend for sometime.  But none of our visions contained weather like what’s being forecasted for Nebraska’s opening weekend of shotgun spring turkey season.  Being a hardy lot we Nebraskans still have intentions of heading out to fill a tag or two.  Here’s how… Snow Unless it comes in blizzard proportions, or is mixed with the conditions listed below, a little snow barely registers for turkeys who are focused on love right now.  Strategies need to …

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My Time on the Lek

lek

The thrill of the dance. When the Pine Ridge Rangers erected a lek viewing blind on the Oglala National Grasslands, I jumped at the chance to experience the dance of the sharp-tailed grouse. For years I had researched private and public blinds. Distance and weather concerns kept me home, but this blind was nearby. I packed blankets, camera, water and snacks and made my way to the blind. Flashlight in hand, I stowed my gear and settled in. Wrapped in …

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Northeast District Birding Day set for May 15 at Davis Creek WMA

LINCOLN, Neb. – Birders are invited to join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for Northeast District Birding Day on May 15 at Davis Creek Wildlife Management Area. Join resource professionals and bird experts to take inventory of the spring migratory birds at Davis Creek. Participants will leave at 5:30 a.m. from the day-use area at the southwest end of the lake, which is located 5 miles south of North Loup in Valley County. Participants should bring lunch, binoculars, camera, …

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Being too Good

With Saturday being the opening of Nebraska’s spring turkey season – shotgun edition –  I ask this one simple question.  “What happens when you are just too good at calling turkeys?” This video answers that very question.  It shows the struggle of some turkey hunting greats who are at the top of their game. Have a great, safe turkey hunting weekend. hershy

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The dance of the sharptail

Sharp-tailed grouse

If you travel far at all on many of our dirt roads, you have a good chance of a seeing one or more sharp-tailed grouse – that is, if you can pick them out with their brown, black and buff camouflaged bodies. Sharptails, popular game birds in Nebraska, are at home on much our landscape, enjoying a mix of open grassland with some trees and shrubs. This is certainly the time of year that grouse are most fun to watch. …

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Game and Parks provides updates on cougar research and management

GERING, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission delivered an update of its cougar research and newly approved management plan for the species to Panhandle residents this week. The information was delivered during public meetings in Gering on Wednesday, April 4, and Chadron on Tuesday, April 3. The meetings featured a presentation by Sam Wilson, Commission carnivore and furbearer program manager, and addressed questions about the big cats, commonly referred to as mountain lions or pumas. Wilson said cougars …

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