Date of this Version
The Nebraska Bird Review Vol. 91 No. 2, pp. 46-70
First off, I want to reiterate that reports compiled for this Spring Seasonal Report are evaluated against current knowledge as presented in Birds of Nebraska-Online (“BONO”; https://birds.outdoornebraska.gov/). Species whose reports do not add new information on distribution, early or late dates, etc., are listed as having “Routine reports”. Please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information that is not in BONO, or if you have additions and/or corrections of information in BONO. Another reminder: if evidence of breeding is observed, please enter the appropriate descriptor in your eBird checklist under “Breeding and Behavior Code”. These descriptors can be found at eBird Breeding and Behavior Codes: Help Center. Of interest this spring was the effect the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s competitive Birding Bowl had on numbers of reports and on a few select total warbler counts. The number of checklists was up, keeping reviewers busier than usual, especially due to entry of two checklists per field trip, one for a personal list the other for the competition. It would seem to follow that total numbers of warblers would increase as well; this happened for several species, notably American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Blackpoll Warbler, all of which are in the mid-level of normal abundance that one might expect would be increased with additional field effort. In contrast, however, Black-throated Green Warbler was lower than usual, and Canada and Wilson’s Warblers did not show increases. Another expected result of increased effort might be more reports of rare warblers; with the possible exception of Connecticut Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler (normally a spring rarity), rare warblers were not more conspicuous than usual. The six Black-billed Cuckoos, reports of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher from six locations, possibly Dusky Flycatcher, several reports of Tufted Titmouse in Lancaster Co, Carolina Wren throughout, and Gray-cheeked Thrush, might have been Birding Bowl effects. Perhaps the most surprising overall phenomenon was the crazy numbers of waterfowl, almost across the board species-wise, but most notable among the geese and dabbling ducks. Estimates were of 2.5 million Snow Geese passing through the state, the associated 170,000 Ross’s Geese, 10,000 Greater White-fronted Geese, and 100,000 Canada Geese. Among dabblers, 2nd highest record single person-single location counts, oddly, occurred in four species: 150,000 Mallards, 75,000 Northern Pintails, 8000 Green-winged Teal, and 3500 Gadwall. Canvasback numbers were good at 3000.