Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Janis Paseka

Date of this Version



Paseka, "Burwell Fall Field Days," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 2016) 84(4).


Copyright 2016 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


The meeting of2016 NOU Fall Field Days took place at the Burwell Legion Club on Sept. 30–Oct. 2, 2016. There were about 50 in attendance at the meeting, which was organized by Robin Harding, Lanny Randolph, and Betty Grenon.

On Friday evening Chad Christiansen, who works for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Fort Niobrara/Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Complex, spoke about the goals of the Natural Legacy Project to identify a set of priority landscapes that, if properly managed, would conserve the majority of Nebraska's biological diversity. These landscapes, called Biologically Unique Landscapes, were selected based on known occurrences of at-risk species and ecological communities. In addition to at-risk species, these landscapes support a broad array of common species. Chad mentioned three types of projects he is involved in: working with landowners to improve grazing regimens, removal of cedars, and wetland projects, including stream and lake renovation.

On Saturday evening, E. J. Raynor, a post-doctoral research associate with Drs. Larkin Powell and Mary Bomberger Brown at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, spoke about his research in soundscape ecology, in which he studies the causes and consequences of biological (biophony), geophysical (geophony), and human-produced (anthrophony) sounds. His research deals with the effects of wind turbine sounds on grassland birds and in particular how the turbine noise impacts the ability of male Greater Prairie-Chickens to broadcast their vocalizations.

Field trip destinations on Saturday and Sunday morning included Calamus Reservoir SRA (including a pelagic trip on the lake led by T.J. Walker), Twin Lakes WMA, Pine Glen WMA, Willow Lake WMA, Mirdan Canal WMA, and Kent Diversion Dam WMA.

Field trips were led by Bill Flack, Robin Harding, Dave Heidt, Wayne Mollhoff, Lanny Randolph, and T.J. Walker. The total species count was 126. Some of the weekend highlights were Lesser Black-backed Gull, Peregrine and Prairie Falcons, 6 swallow species, 7 warbler species, and 14 sparrow species.