I was recently in Kearney, Nebraska for the AFO/COS/WOS ornithological meeting. This post is to share some photos from a few times I got out birding while in the area.
One morning I drove north to near Broken Bow. Standing at one point, I was able to scope SHARP-TAILED GROUSE lekking to the east and GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS to the west. First, here are the distant SHARP-TAILED GROUSE (there were about 9 in total):
... and here are two of the distant GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS:
Even if lekking prairie-grouse wasn't your thing, it was a beautiful calm morning with a spectacular sunrise:
Of course, on my way back to Kearney I found 9 prairie-chickens much closer and pecking alongside a highway. Here are 4 of them:
There was a plethora of SANDHILL CRANES in the area during the meeting (which was great for all the visitors!). Just driving down a side road would yield all sorts of great looks. This photo amuses me; look at the shadow on the underside of the left wing of the right-most crane:
This photo also amuses me; you can see the chunk of corn stubble that the right-most crane previously chucked up into the air:
It was about the time this buteo flushed that I realized it was probably a young "Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk:
Strings of geese and waterfowl were a constant reminder of us being in the middle of a migration corridor. Here is a mixed flock of NORTHERN PINTAILS, SNOW GEESE, and ROSS'S GEESE:
... and yes, sometimes even a SANDHILL CRANE can wind up in a goose flock:
Sunset in a land of grass:
When you pull up and see this distant shape on a telephone pole, would you be able to ID it? I had a hunch and as I drove closer, you can see the progression of the ID
Yep, it's a PRAIRIE FALCON:
Before I knew it, it was time to leave Nebraska and instead of heading east back to Iowa, I ventured into the opposite direction. Westward.