Date of this Version
Silcock, "Winter Field Report, December 2005 to February 2006," from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2006) 74(1).
The traditional mid-summer and midwinter "windows" wherein migrants were rarely detected have closed markedly in the last few years. The midwinter window is closing; where it once was around 20 Dec-20 Feb it is now more like 5 Jan-to Feb. Many waterfowl were found in midwinter this season, and migrants such as Bluewinged Teal and Sandhill Crane appeared very early this spring. Similarly early were Turkey Vulture and Lincoln's Sparrow. In light of waterbirds lingering late in fall, markedly lower numbers of Western Grebes were a surprise.
Exotics were widely-reported; one, Pink-footed Goose, could possibly be a vagrant wild bird, while Egyptian Geese are certainly escaped or released captives. The possibility that releases of Chukars by hunters could lead to establishment of breeding populations in drier parts of western Nebraska exists; observers should report any occurrences of this species.
Species exhibiting various noteworthy behaviors or distributions include Franklin's Gull, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Varied Thrush, and Curve-billed Thrasher; check the species accounts.