Date of this Version
The Nebraska Bird Review, Volume 89 September 2021 Number 3, pp. 106-127.
Last summer my opening sentences were: “Overall, this was a fairly routine summer although birders in Nebraska know that ‘routine’ still holds promise of a few happenings out of the ordinary. The summer season primarily examines new breeding records, range expansions, and changes in numbers, up or down.” This summer was also rather routine but had its share of startling events. Foremost among these were only the second colony breeding of American White Pelicans, involving 1200 on nests; two, possibly the same, male Evening Grosbeaks in the southeast; record late by about a month Townsend’s Solitaire; two Lincoln’s Sparrows together also about a month late; a male Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler about a month early in Sarpy Co; and Louisiana Waterthrushes breeding at Fort Falls, Fort Niobrara NWR, with Northern Parula in the same area, both about 200 miles west of previously known breeding sites. Encouraging on the breeding front were five successful Sandhill Crane pairs, two confirming previously suspected locations; a new nest site for Osprey in Cass Co; increasing early summer breeding Sedge Wrens; continuing success for Common Merganser in the Niobrara Valley Preserve; apparent breeding Tufted Titmouse in Lancaster Co; possible continued summer presence of Sage Thrasher and Ash-throated Flycatcher in southwestern Kimball Co; and a new Sioux Co breeding location for Savannah Sparrow in the area where Common Ravens continue and also possibly bred. Additional noteworthy records were an obviously brown Common Nighthawk suggestive of western subspecies Chordeiles minor howelli or C. m. henryi; two sub-adult Mute Swans that appear to be wild birds; a record late Whitewinged Scoter; near-record late Swainson’s Thrush detected overhead at night; 5th spring Panhandle Ruby-throated Hummingbird; spring Broad-tailed Hummingbirds at two Panhandle locations; a Broad-winged Hawk on the Pine Ridge; and a Least Flycatcher in Lancaster Co.