Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Dinan, "1998 Midwinter Eagle Survey for Nebraska including summary tables for the 1980–1998 period from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission," from Nebraska Bird Review (September 1998) 66(3).


Copyright 1998 Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Mild temperatures were prevalent in the weeks prior to this year's survey; however, temperatures cold enough to form a thin layer of ice on some reservoirs and lakes occurred between aerial surveys. Three of the aerial surveys were conducted on the 6th and 7th of January and one was conducted on the 13th. The survey route that includes the Platte River from Kearney to Plattsmouth and the Loup River was not surveyed this year because of persistent foggy conditions.

Temperatures recorded during the 1998 survey were variable, ranging from 5 to 40 degrees F. The Niobrara River was 50 to 99% ice-covered from the Newport bridge and downstream. Above the Newport bridge, ice coverage ranged from 0 to 40%. The unchanneled portion of the Missouri River was 40% ice-covered. The channelized portion of the Missouri River was 50 to 65% ice covered with floating ice in the channel. The Republican River was open, although the upper reaches had some slush. The "southwest" reservoirs and reservoirs along the Republican River had 75% "new" ice-cover that was formed the night before the survey. The Platte River west of Kearney and the North and South Platte rivers were all open, as were the lakes and reservoirs along these rivers.

During the 1998 Nebraska survey, a total of 1430 bald and 9 golden eagles were observed. This is the highest statewide total for the 1980 to 1998 period of the record.