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Tag Archives: nebraska

Great Plains Connections: Chasing Sunsets

Every chance I get I’m out chasing the sunset – I’m hooked on chasing the setting sun. There is a little homework that must be done before the sun goes down to get the perfect image of a good sunset. I check the sky late in the afternoon to see if there is good cloud cover that will hopefully make a gorgeous reflection of the sun’s setting colors or clouds with interesting shapes in them – but not too many …

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Maximilian-Bodmer Show at the Great Plains Art Museum

When Prince Maximilian contracted the services of artist Karl Bodmer to join him on a 2,500 mile expedition through North America in 1832, a masterful narrative of the existence of the Plains Indian was created.  Their two year travels would culminate in a journey up the Missouri River via steam ship, then keel boat, where stops at camps and trading posts gave Bodmer the opportunity to recreate village scenes, landscapes and portraits of the Plains Indians in remarkable watercolor detail. …

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Winter birds from the weekend’s CBCs

I was out and about this past weekend helping on Christmas Bird Counts (CBC), which I recently blogged.  The Lincoln CBC was held on Saturday and the Branched Oak Lake/Seward CBC occurred on Sunday.  The early December cold snap relinquished its grip and weather was actually pleasant.  The cold snap froze most water bodies and reduced the overall number of species and bird numbers.   At this point, I have not heard of any major surprises discovered.  Nevertheless, I was …

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Christmas Bird Counts – A Tradition Like No Other

I, like many other dedicated birders, will be out in the elements this upcoming Saturday searching for birds as Christmas Bird Count (CBCs) season kick off.  CBCs are several things:  serious birding, volunteerism, a little bit of socializing, a dash of competition, citizen science and just getting outside during a season when it can be a little too easy to find excuses not to venture out.  CBCs were initiated in 1900 by Frank Chapman as an alternative to Christmas side …

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Great Plains Connections: Deer Season

I love deer season to the point that it’s really all I can think about – I even dream about deer hunting, when I’m working I wish I was out deer hunting; every spare minute is spent in the field. Opening weekend our son, grandson and son-in-law and two granddaughters head to the family farm for a weekend of white tailed deer hunting. This typically means that my opening weekend consists of spending time with the grand kids – they …

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These are Whooping Cranes

Last month I blogged about Whooping Crane identification because, I knew then, Whooping Crane would soon be moving through the state.  Well, a few birds have been observed in the state.  NGPC Southwest District Staff reported and documented twelve Whooping Cranes stopping-over in Frontier County last week.  Some photos were taken and these are shared, below.  Special thanks to Chad Taylor for his work reporting these Whoopers and also to Terry Perks for the photographs.

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Whooping Cranes are coming: will you know one, if you see one?

The period when Whooping Cranes migrate through Nebraska is here.  Whooping Cranes migrate from breeding sites at Wood Buffalo Park, Canada, to their wintering sites at and near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, every fall.  In four to six weeks, hopefully the entire Aransas-Wood Buffalo flock of about 300 birds has successfully migrated to Texas.   Migrating 2,500 miles is risky business and this is a critical few weeks for these birds.   NGPC, along with our partners, rely on the …

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Leucism reported in Nebraska birds

Cases of leucism have been reported in Nebraska birds at each end of state over the past few weeks.  Before taking cover in your bunker with concerns about the next avian-related pandemic, it might be useful to define leucism.  Leucism is a type of abnormal coloration in a bird’s plumage.  Specifically, it is variable amounts of either white or pale coloration in feathers that typically have pigment.  Even though leucism is rare, it is regularly observed.  I receive a few …

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Time Outdoors in Summer is So Fun, Makes Cool Memories!

As this Independence Day Weekend of 2013 draws to a close, I got to thinking just how much fun spending time in the outdoors really is in summer and how cool the memories are! So, what I’ve decided to do with this blog post, is to share some of our Wagner family photos  (memories) from the weekend spent with my in-laws at their place on Kuesters Lake just east of Grand Island, NE. Here’s a photo of my wife Polly …

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How far will a Nebraska Red-tailed Hawk travel?

Red-tailed Hawks are common residents in Nebraska.  It is easy to be lulled into the notion that local Red-tails don’t move around all that much because there is always one or two around.  When one leaves for greener pastures, how would anyone ever know?   One of my mantras is that birds are always full of surprises and here is another one.   Last fall we placed a band on a Red-tailed Hawk that was recovered in Sarpy County, Nebraska, and rehabilitated …

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