Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



“Suggested Areas for Study” from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2005) 73(4).


Copyright 2005 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


After 100 years of organized ornithology we have a good picture of the bird fauna of Nebraska. Yes, we will still be able to add new species to the state list, but this will become more and more difficult. What problems are left for the amateur ornithologist to solve? Nebraska is a big state with many different ecological areas, few of which have been studied in detail. Only a few areas of the state have been well studied. Not only do we need data on what species occur, but how many. This type of study can be done by amateur ornithologists. In fact many of the outstanding field studies done in this country and Canada have been done by amateur ornithologists.

What does such a study require? A good field study requires a desire to do a good job, good study design, good field notes, and time. By time, I mean that it can't be done in a hurry. A good field study requires several years so that you can get data under various conditions. It is not necessary to spend every day in the field, but spending 12 to 20 days a year in the area will yield good data.

I have selected four areas in which over the years I have done fieldwork on insects and ticks [southeast Richardson County, Big Blue Valley (Barneston to Seward), Northern Sioux County (Oglala National Grassland), and Dundy County]. However, these areas would be excellent for ornithological study. The data from such a study would be a major contribution to the ornithology of Nebraska.