Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


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Johnsgard, "Recent Changes in Winter Bird Numbers at Lincoln, Nebraska" from Nebraska Bird Review (March 20006) 74(1).


Copyright 2006, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


In 1998 I summarized historic Christmas Bird Count data for Lincoln and Scottsbluff (Johnsgard, 1998), since these two sites provide the longest continuous count records for any Nebraska locations. Eight more years of data have since accumulated, during which there has been an increasing awareness of the perceived effects of global warming (Inkley, 2004) on bird populations. The purpose of this paper is to compare the data for the past eight years (1998-2005) with earlier counts for Lincoln, two of which were first performed in the early 1900's, but which have been conducted in unbroken sequence since 1947. These data, originally available only as printed annual summaries, are now easily accessible from the web site of the National Audubon Society (


Table 1 provides a list of the bird species reported over the 1947-2005 counting period in the Lincoln count circle (NELI), including totals and yearly averages of all the birds seen during each of the two selected intervals. The final column is a comparison of the average number of individuals reported during the first (1947-1997) period with the average number reported during the second (1998-2005) period, expressed as a positive (or negative, where indicated) percent change. A few species that have been reported only once were excluded from this summary.