Date of this Version
Nebraska Bird Review (June 2007) 75(2).
Extremes of weather conditions and resulting variation in water conditions were noteworthy this spring. The west was very dry, but the Rainwater Basin had ample rains resulting in excellent breeding conditions for various waterbirds, notably Eared Grebe and American Coot. Shorebird numbers were unremarkable, although there was plenty of variation between species. Indeed, Dunlin, with record numbers, and Ruddy Tumstones were numerous. Arrival dates were pushing early, but not record early. Species earlier than average were American Golden-Plover, Mountain Plover, Black-necked Stilt, White-rumped Sandpiper, and Stilt Sandpiper.
Increasingly associated with wetlands, albeit unrelated to water levels, Greater Prairie-Chicken continued to use grassy margins of wetlands in the Rainwater Basin for lek sites. Leks were also noted in agricultural fields. Use of these habitats suggests ability to adapt and bodes well for the future of this species in southeast Nebraska, where it is also doing very well in its traditional native grassland habitats.