Nebraska Game and Parks Commission


Date of this Version

December 1968


Published in THE WILSON BULLETIN Vol. 80, No.4. December 1968 pp. 479-486. Copyright © Wilson Ornithological Society. Used by permission.


RECENT evidence of population declines for several species of raptors has been a subject of some concern both nationally and internationally. Although raptors are the most conspicuous birds in our environment, by virtue of their large size, flight habits, and food habits, little information is available to evaluate population densities and trends over large areas. Data are needed to provide yardsticks for judging population changes over time periods and among geographic areas.

This study was undertaken to provide information on the species and seasonal abundance of raptors in the panhandle of Nebraska for three years (1957 through 1959). Ten years have elapsed since the study was initiated and a replication at this time would be of considerable interest and value. We hope this report stimulates someone to repeat the study now and provide valuable information for helping to evaluate the population status of raptors. Preliminary findings on our Nebraska study were reported by Mathisen and Mathisen (1957). Similar roadside raptor counts have been conducted by Nice (1934), Allan and Sime (1943) in Texas, Enderson (1965) in Colorado, and Rowan (1964) in South Africa.