Date of this Version
“Annual Meeting at York” from Nebraska Bird Review (June 2009) 77(2).
Eighty-four members and guests were in attendance at the 110th Annual Meeting of the Nebraska Ornithologists' Union in York on May 15–17, 2009.
Field trips were led by Joel Jorgensen, Ross Silcock, Kent Skaggs, Mary Bomberger Brown, and Clem Klaphake to North Lake Basin, Hidden Marsh, the Geneva cemetery, Harvard Marsh, and other sites in the Eastern Rainwater Basin. Mary Brown also took a small group to her Piping Plover and Least Tern study locations along the Platte River.
Our Friday evening speaker was Dan Kim, who gave us an account of work he has done with the Whooping Crane Trust in grassland tracts south of Alma which have been alternately grazed, burned, and allowed to rest. Species including Bobolink, Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, Henslow's Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, and Brown-headed Cowbird were studied and banded. Cowbird parasitism and predation were studied. Surprisingly, host species often had better nest success when cowbirds had eggs in their nests than when they did not because if the cowbirds did not parasitize the nest, they often destroyed the host eggs or chicks.
Tim Gallagher, editor in chief of Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology's journal Living Bird and author of The Grail Bird: The Rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, provided an entertaining chronicle of searches for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, from sightings in the Singer Tract of northeast Louisiana in the 1940s to the widely reported and often-questioned sightings in Bayou de View, Arkansas, in 2004. Gallagher's firsthand account of time spent in a canoe in the Arkansas swamps with other searchers, the photos and videos taken on those trips, and the analyses of those photos provided a captivating story of attempts to prove that the Ivory-billed is not extinct.