Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



“Fall Field Report, August–November 2005” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2005) 73(4).


Copyright 2005 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


This fall was notable for its lack of notable events; numbers of migrants reported in all species groups, especially waterfowl, shorebirds, and warblers, were low. Lingering birds were both insectivores and seed-eaters, and, coupled with a rather stable fall weather-wise, it seems that there were no disturbances to concentrate birds or otherwise impede a steady flow of migrants through the state. Without concentrations, migrants are often not noticed or, more accurately here, not reported by observers.

The best Western Grebe count was 2500, very low relative to expected high fall counts of at least 20,000. Mergansers were the only bright spot in waterfowl numbers, although they were present only in average numbers, rather than low numbers as were most of the other waterfowl. Among warblers, the few highlights included more reports than usual of Black-throated Green, as well as a lengthy migration period, both indicators of more birds being present. Other migrant species, however, were represented by 1–2 or even no reports.

One significant report was the first known successful nesting, as well as a separate attempted nesting, both this spring and summer, by Barn Owls in northeast Nebraska. This part of the state has almost no records of this species.

Western birds in the east were White-throated Swift and Say's Phoebe, and late departures were made by insectivores Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, Western Kingbird, and Blue-headed Vireo, while seed-eaters Grasshopper and Henslow's Sparrows and Indigo Bunting were also tardy.