Nebraska Birds

May 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm (Bird photography, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Harris's Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow

One place I really wanted to visit in Nebraska was the Platte River area where the sandhill cranes gather by the thousands on their Spring migration north.  But since this happens in March and early April, there wasn’t a single one to be found by the time I got there.  But I did see some cool birds such as the Harris’s sparrow, and added a new bird to my life list – the clay-colored sparrow.

Clay-Colored Sparrow

Clay-Colored Sparrow

Plus it gave me an opportunity to walk for several hours to ease the backache from long periods of driving.  Note the gray cowl the clay-colored wears on its neck.  The male’s insect-like buzzing call is distinctive as well.

Yellow Warbler male

Yellow Warbler male

The yellow warblers sang their “sweet sweet” songs as they gleaned bugs from the ash trees.

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

The ever-elusive gray catbird allowed a quick pose to show its disdain for my intrusion.

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

I’d have to check my notes, but I think the Swainson’s Thrush is also a new lifer for me.  A very knowledgeable young man at the Rowe Sanctuary – an Audubon Center in Gibbon, helped me with the IDs.  He told me something that made my jaw drop.  He said they had very little snow this year – perhaps a foot total at most.  As with many parts of the country that get snow, he said Nebraska has gotten far less than it did 30 years ago.  I figured the Midwest was covered in snow for months at a time.

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

This sanctuary has several large blinds that can accommodate dozens of birders observing the sandhill cranes along the “braided” Platte River.  I will definitely make it back here to see them roosting, courting, and calling some day.

Purple Finch male

Purple Finch male

A couple of purple finches made a dandelion seed stop.

Photography Blind

Photography Blind

Bell's Vireo

Bell’s Vireo

Whenever I see birds such as the goldfinch migrating through an area, I always fantasize that they are going back to my house in Maine – or the one I used to have.  Those are “my” goldfinches, I think.  “My” catbirds, “my” bluebirds.

American Goldfinch male

American Goldfinch male

One more of the clay-colored sparrow.

Clay-colored sparrow

Clay-colored sparrow

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

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3 Comments

  1. quarterhorsegirl said,

    Very nice and clear pictures!

  2. JoAnn Andrews said,

    May 15, 2014. Your Purple Finch is mislabeled it is a House Finch. Love your pictures and blog thanks you for them

    • Cindy McIntyre said,

      Hi JoAnn – thanks for the comment. It’s a purple finch as it was more purple than the house finch’s reddish color, and has more overall color and a chunkier bill. And the females were definitely marked with the distinctive facial markings. I had them breeding in Maine but out west it’s definitely the house finch.

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