Date of this Version
“Winter Field Report, December 2008 to February 2009” from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2009) 77(1).
This was one of the more "normal" winters for some time; I base this conclusion on the lack of unusually early or late dates or exceptional counts, as well as the lack of rarities. Although there were 11 species of gulls reported, perhaps we have become jaded by the gull extravaganza that is Lake McConaughy. It was a great winter for Common Redpolls and Snow Buntings as well, which was welcome as these birds do not appear in any numbers most winters. Perhaps the only group of birds that exhibited consistent aberration from the "norm" (I prefer "average") was the native sparrows, with several unexpected midwinter dates for various species.
[This document includes color photographs on pp. 20–21 of a Dunlin (Seward County), Barred Owl (Douglas County), Brown Thrasher (Lancaster County), Cerulean Warbler (Douglas County), Common Yellowthroat (Fillmore County), Lark Sparrow (Brown County), and Varied Thrush (Keith County); on pp. 24–25 of a Least Sandpiper (Adams County), White-breasted Nuthatch (Washington County), Field Sparrow (Lancaster County), Glaucous Gull (Keith County), Cedar Waxwing (Sarpy County), and Yellow-headed Blackbird (Clay County); and on pp. 28–29 of American Avocets (Sheridan County), Greater Prairie Chicken (Cherry County), White-faced Ibis (Clay County), Sharp-tailed Grouse (Hooker County), American Woodcock (Seward County), and a Dickcissel (Lancaster County).]