Author Topic: My Nebraska  (Read 140979 times)

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Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #990 on: February 01, 2019, 08:31:03 PM »
Vivid colors and interesting shapes.
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Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #991 on: February 04, 2019, 07:04:48 PM »
It was such a nice day on Sunday,  temps around 50 F.  There have been reports that some Sandhill Cranes in the area.  We know that the spring migration is about to kick off but usually it is closer to Valentine's Day.  I decided to go see if I could find some and also to just look for a few other birds.  Driving around I found lots of hawks but still not able to find those cranes in the fields.  I decided to go check out the blind that I do most of my Crane Tours and sure enough there were Cranes in the field right across the river.  More and more kept flying in as i was there BUT I had another reason to go birding,  I wanted to find some Short Eared Owls.  They come out just about sunset and start hunting over the fields.  They have been seen just a couple of miles to the west of the crane blind.  I got there and set up to  look for them.  Well I was not disappointed -  out they came and the were flying and scanning the fields looking for mice/voles.  So I got a few photos (flying owls shots are difficult) and then back to the river to watch the Sandhill Cranes.  At this point is was after sunset but of course still some light,  the cranes were flying in in large numbers but of course not to the river yet.  I thought maybe since the river still had lots of ice in it that they were going to stay on the bank.  I packed up to leave and was half way to the car and I heard this sound...........the sound of cranes lifting off.  I turned and thought do I head back or just go home............ Of course I turned and ran back to the river.   Yes they were landing in the river on the ice.  Their sound just resonates in the air when they call.  They are back !!!!!!







Now for some other birds






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Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #992 on: February 10, 2019, 01:26:08 PM »
Open fields, wetlands, prairies make for wonderful habitats.  You know you have something special when you see wildlife thriving in those areas.  It doesn't come easy now days.   Many farmers till the land and plant crops which break up the sections of land and cause fragmented prairies.  There are agencies that work to restore and protect these areas and when that happens people can sure enjoy seeing the results.

The Sandhill Cranes and the Whooping Cranes benefit from all the work on the river.  Restoring crop fields back to native lands is another area that takes lots of man hours.  There is a great wetland area just off of the river that a few short eared owls have been hunting on along with the Northern Harriers.  Last night I just parked on the road and waited for them to come out.  It wasn't long and there an owl appeared on the fence post.  Ever alert looking around for his first meal I am sure.  Of course the day was cloudy so the light was not going to be the best.  Looking around there was one flying on each side of the gravel road looking in the ditch for his meal.  I had to get out of the vehicle so I could follow the flight.  At one point one flew right along the side of me (well those pictures didn't turn out well at all).   








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Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #993 on: February 10, 2019, 02:44:17 PM »
Bison use to roam the prairies in massive numbers, then they were almost wiped out.  Bison play an important role in prairies so that is why the Crane Trust has reintroduced bison to their prairie.  They graze the grasses differently,  they make wallows,  they are a very hearty animal in the elements.  I sat and watched  a small number of them.  At first they were unsure and moved away, then one decided to take a few steps towards me.  The bull ( which had a really messy hairdo) kept a young calf by him and gradually took some steps forward.  They must have figured I was OK because they moved closer and continued to graze, two decided to play a little head butting game.  It was cold and windy,  after sitting there for a long time I had to go warm up,  but I sure enjoyed watching them.





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Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #994 on: February 11, 2019, 03:38:12 AM »
How wonderful to see such a variety of wildlife where you can sit and observe them.
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world". ~John Muir

Offline jeavverhey

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #995 on: February 11, 2019, 01:19:23 PM »
Your  photos are always interesting Deb but I have to say the bull would have been far too close for my comfort!
 :eceek

Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #996 on: February 21, 2019, 07:18:39 PM »
I was enjoying an evening at the wetland field,  hoping to see some short eared owls.  While waiting for sunset there was a Northern Harrier that was hunting and it flew right by me,  almost to close for my camera lens.  Amazing to see the focus in his eyes as he went by.

A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #997 on: February 23, 2019, 04:13:11 PM »
More snow today but this one comes with strong winds.  I went out and had to clear off the snow from the feeders and shortly there were visitors (four legged and two legged ones).  The White Winged Dove is a special visitor.











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Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #998 on: February 23, 2019, 07:42:07 PM »
Took a couple of videos during the snow today.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0V83w7b0xs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0V83w7b0xs</a>


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUqPz0rfCRk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUqPz0rfCRk</a>

These next two were from a little over a week ago at the river watching the Sandhill Cranes

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ero-rBz_8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ero-rBz_8</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhscWozB5HU" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhscWozB5HU</a>
A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #999 on: March 10, 2019, 08:44:49 PM »
Winter has been hanging on making it very miserable to do some birding.  The Sandhill Cranes have been staying away due to the cold and snow.   There has been a few thousand here but the rest have been waiting for better weather.  Today was one of the nicest we have had in such a long time.  There is still plenty of snow but I think everyone is ready for Spring.  Not only the Sandhill Cranes were out but a very handsome Ring Necked Pheasant along with a Northern Harrier hunting.

I enjoy watching the cranes interact with eachother








This male pheasant was busy looking around under the corn stalks for food





The Look



The Take Off

A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1000 on: April 16, 2019, 08:05:47 PM »
March is Migration and Sandhill Crane season so I got out a few times.  First is early morning as the sun was rising and the sky was filled with snow geese flying.   As it lightens you get a view of the massive number of cranes standing in the river.





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Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1001 on: April 22, 2019, 05:12:13 PM »
Happy Earth Day!  Great Blue Herons nest colonially in the tops of trees called a Rookery.  They can use last years nest of sticks and add some improvement sticks.  Right now the trees are not fully leafed out so their nests are easy to see.  This rookery is located  right by a  softball complex in Omaha,  they can fly many miles to hunt for food which I know there is a nice lake a few miles away.  Some seemed to be incubating while others were still working on sticks.









A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1002 on: April 22, 2019, 09:41:27 PM »
What an interesting place to visit!   :binocs
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world". ~John Muir

Offline jeavverhey

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1003 on: April 23, 2019, 02:35:34 AM »
We saw such a rookery on Hornby Island during the last HIP trip.  :nod2 Wren took us to visit a friend who  had one on his property. :thumbup: That was also the time when Foldi got dressed up in the tree climber gear. :thumbup: What fun we had with that! :eclol Thanks for the memories Deb.  :ecsmile

Offline gmadeb3

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Re: My Nebraska
« Reply #1004 on: April 24, 2019, 08:28:22 PM »
I had a very cool surprise while out birding the other day.  I was driving along this area that has lots of water,  a very wet wetland area.  Not many species noted and was about ready to head out when I noticed a little grebe swimming along the edge.  I just sat and waited to see if it would continue to come towards me.  Sure enough it did kind of a zig and zag but it got closer.  The evening light was pretty so I just continued to wait.  As it got closer i was amazed it was something that I have not seen before.  It was a Horned Grebe.  So glad i did not just take off for home.



A smile is the universal welcome- Max Eastman