Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"Notes on Bird Sightings in Nebraska," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1994) 62(2).


Copyright 1994, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Ruff and Godwits. On April 19, 1994, I discovered a red-phased Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) in alternate plumage at the Sacramento Wildlife Management Area in Phelps County. It was feeding with a flock of Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica) and Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa) in a flooded marshy area. The Ruff was easily recognized and required little effort to identify. I observed and photographed it for about one hour in the early evening, using a Canon AE-1 and my Kowa TSN-4 with a 1200 mm photo attachment as a lens. I was unable to locate it the following morning. Several photographs have been sent to the Records Committee.

Snowy Plover and Other Plovers. On May 2, 1994, I found a Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) at the Funk Marsh Waterfowl Production Area in Phelps County. It was on a mud flat with 16 semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) and a single Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), as well as a variety of sandpipers. The Snowy Plover was pale on the upperparts and white on the underparts. The bill was black and the legs appeared to be a darkslate color. The bird had a blackish breast band, which was limited to the side of the breast, and a dark area behind the eye. It possessed the typical Charadrius feature of a blackish area at the front of the crown.

The only species that could possibly be confused with a Snowy Plover would be the Piping Plover. Breeding male and female Piping Plovers were eliminated from consideration because this bird had dark legs and bill, a dark area behind the eye, and was smaller in size than the Piping Plover. Non-breeding Piping Plovers have dark legs and bill but lack any darker plumage patterns.

Photographs of the Snowy Plover will be sent to the Records Committee.