Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Lemburg & Mollhoff, “Report of a Nesting Sora (Porzana carolina),” from Nebraska Bird Review (March 2012) 80(1).


Copyright 2012 Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


During the summer of 2008, long-time NOU member and former NOU Treasurer William (Bill) Lemburg of Cairo, Howard Co., Nebraska, discovered the nest of a Sora (Porzana carolina). On 29 July 2008, while using a small flat-bottomed boat to gather duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) on a small pond near his bird pens to feed the exotic waterfowl he raises, he noted a pair of Sora walking about, foraging atop the dense growth of duckweed. The pair ignored his presence even though, as he later discovered, he was within 10 feet of their nest. The following evening, 30 July, he again noted a bird feeding there. The next morning, 31 July, he noticed a small tent-like cluster of broken-over bur-reed (Sparganium euzycarpum) in the middle of the shallow pond and suspected a nest might be present. Upon further investigation while wearing chest waders, he flushed a Sora 5 feet away from him, and within the clump of the previous year’s growth of broken bur-reed he found a nest with eight eggs.

The dated comments that follow are derived from Mr. Lemburg’s original field notes and give a timeline of the Sora nesting behavior.