Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Johnsgard, "An Analysis of Migration Schedules of Non-Passerine Birds in Nebraska," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1980) 48(2).


Copyright 1980, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


One of the major components of the Nebraska Bird Review since its inception has been the annual spring migration and occurrence report, and in more recent years the fall occurrence report has become equally important. Yet, other than an uncompleted effort by W. F. Rapp, Jr. to summarize the first 25 years of spring migration data, these records apparently have not been analyzed by anyone. Part of the problem is the sheer mass of data to be assimilated, and a second issue is the question of how to classify certain species, for the analysis of a winter visitor required different consideration from that of a spring and fall migrant. Further confusing the question is the fact that many Nebraska species migrate completely out of the state in some years but variably overwinter at other times. Even more difficult are the species that are summer residents in one part of the state, but may be winter visitors elsewhere, such as Townsend's Solitaires. Finally there are the problems of several species that are so little known that is it presently impossible to classify them as summer residents, permanent residents, or migrants. Nevertheless, these are a very small proportion of the total, and it thus seemed worthwhile to made an attempt at an understanding of the migration patterns of Nebraska's avifauna by the present analysis and perhaps pinpoint if not resolve some of these questions. This first report will deal only with the non-passerine species; a later one will concern the passerines.