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February / Great Backyard Bird Count

February, 2015 

February News from

Wild Bird Habitat Store

connecting families with nature for 19 years

Time for the 18th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count 
Become a citizen scientist
For all ages and levels of birding experience
18th Great Backyard Bird Count 
February 13 to 16, 2015GBBC Window
Join in on North America's largest 4 day bird count. Become a citizen scientist. Its fun, easy, and there is no charge.
All levels of birding experience are asked to join in. Great for families, schools, youth groups, anyone interested in collecting data on the birds they see and reporting them online to the biologists at the Cornell University Bird Lab. Count the birds at the feeders in your backyard, in your neighborhood, city park or wildlife area. This count is "for the birds".
Get more information and a checklist for "common birds in Nebraska during February" at
The Wild Bird Habitat Stores
Nebraska's ambassador for the 
Great Backyard Bird Count
 Save $5.00 on Thayer Birding Software
Scroll down to learn how
PPNC 50th
Great Bavckyard Bird Count Event

Pioneers Park 

Nature Center


February 14 

9:00 - 11:30 a.m.


click here for info


Wachiska Logo  February Birding Field Trip

 February 15 


 click for trip info



Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund

Non-Game Wildlife.

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Donate today! 

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First 20 Years at Wild Bird Habitat Store 


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Birds Choice 


Wild Bird Habitat Stores 
 Alamo Plaza Store
In the Alamo Plaza
56th & Hwy #2
Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday 11am to 4pm
(402) 420-2553
4840 Orchard
In the white house at
4840 Orchard St
Mon - Fri 9am to 5:30pm
Saturday 9am to 5pm
Sunday Noon to 4pm
(402) 464-4055

Black Squirels

Black squirrels are not a separate species. They are eastern grey squirrels with a condition know as melanism which makes them black. Genetically, black makes for better camouflage in dark forested and wooded areas. Litters of black squirrels may contain young that are brown and black. This does not mean that they mated with a red fox squirrel. In fact these two species can be quite territorial against each other. Iowa and Kansas has a large number of black squirrels spilling over into Eastern Nebraska. Read more about:


Black Squirrels



February Bird of the Month
Harris's Sparrow Harris Sparrow

Fall and spring migration is a time of the year I always look forward to. This is when we begin to see many of our winter birds beginning to arrive or prepare to depart. And one bird that is always exciting to see during migration  is the Harris's Sparrow. This is truly a bird that the Central Great Plains can lay claim to as one of our indigenous fall and winter species. Although they breed along the edge of the Boreal forests and tundra in the upper reaches of north-central Canada, they winter from the South Dakota to Southern Texas. Rarely are they found east or west of middle North America.  Their eastern range is extends to roughly Interstate #35 in Iowa, and to the west not much beyond the Nebraska border into Colorado and Wyoming, except during migration. In Nebraska they winter in the eastern quarter of the state and south-central counties, down into Kansas, Oklahoma, and Eastern Texas. Read more about the Harris's Sparrow 


 What about black squirrels?
Scroll down to learn more
Dave's  February Bird Chatter

 Winter is far from over. And as the natural food sources for birds become increasingly scarce or covered by snow, the bird feeders will continue to draw more visitors. Recent snows to our north may drive more birds into our area, and new ones can arrive at anytime. Keep vigilant about new birds at the feeders. Already this seems to be a banner year for Northern Goldfinch.


The Central Great Plains can receive some of the years heaviest snowfalls in late February and March. If that happens remember that "grit" is essential for birds to digest the seeds they eat.

If the ground becomes covered by snow and ice, mix a little grit with the bird feed in your feeders or place some in an open space on the ground where it will not become covered with snow. Read more Bird Chatter

 Up-coming Birding Festivals
Audubon's Nebraska Crane Festival
 March 19 - 22, 2015  /   Kearney, Nebraska  
sandhill cranes in flight
Prairie Chickens, Bald Eagles, 500,000 Sandhill Cranes & millions of Snow Geese and waterfowl , songbirds and more
The longest running annual birding festival in North America. Come join in the fun. Birding excursions, workshops, noted guest speakers and so much more. Fun for the entire family

 Check out all the events for this popular birding festival and register online or
call Spring Creek Audubon Center at
(402) 797-2301 for more information.

Check out these other birding events this spring in Nebraska 

 Lets go birding!

Birding #401

Classes Begin April 8th 

OLLI Class 2011
2011 OLLI Biridng Class

Learn the essentials of birding, bird identification, and where to go birding in this year's "Birding 101"   offered by OLLI, UNL's Oscher Lifelong Learning Institute. The six weekly classes will begin with an orientation on birding and a bird walk through UNL's East Campus. followed by 5 weekly  field trips to view birds at places such as the Pioneers Park Nature Center, Spring Creek Audubon Center, Lancaster County's Saline Wetlands, and area watershed lakes. 

Classes begin March 31st, 2015

Phone: 472-6265 or olli@unl.edu  to register of to request more information information. 



Dan Wheeler, Professor Emeritus from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and Dave Titterington from the Wild Bird Habitat Stores  


North America's Boreal Forest

The boreal forest is Canada's largest vegetation zone, making up 55 per cent of the country's land mass. It extends from the Yukon and northern British Columbia in the west to Newfoundland and Labrador in the east.

Why Care About Canada's Boreal Forests

During spring migration up to 3 billion birds fly through the U.S. to their breeding grounds in the Canadian Boreal Forest. Up to 5 billion birds (adults and offspring) fly south from the Boreal each fall. 60% of these migrants spend the winter in the U.S. - making it the largest wintering grounds for Boreal birds such as Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, Rusty Blackbirds and Ruby-crowned Kinglets to name a few.

The responsibility of the Boreal in sustaining some bird populations is startling:

  •  80% of the waterfowl species of North America, 63% of the finch species, and 53% of warbler species breed in the Boreal.
  •  For nearly 100 species, 50% or more of their entire breeding populations occur in the Boreal.
  •  Over 80% of the North American populations of 35 species occur in the Boreal.

Find out more about the: Boreal Forests

 Listen to Dave live on KFOR Radio's 

Find birding sites at

The Nebraska Birding Trails  


and identify the birds using

Nebraska Bird Library

The Nebraska Bird Library, an online resource and field guide about Nebraska's birds, recently added sound files to some species. Now bird-watchers can not only browse through bird species profiles, they can also hear a bird's call. Want to hear the rolling "quip-ip-ip-ip" of an upland sandpiper, the soft "phew" of the western bluebird or the bubbling, flutelike song of the western meadowlark? There are sound files for 163 species of the 454 species listed, including all of the most common birds.



Project Beak for Kids - Project Beak


Bird Education Awareness for Kids


Thayer Birding Software Version 7 has just been released

Instantly ID unknown birds with the Identification Wizard  / Get to know your birds through photos, video clips and high quality bird songs / View range maps and descriptions of 985 Birds of North America / Record your sightings and keep an organized life-list  / Test your skills with hundreds of birding quizzes / Import your OWN photos and save them into the e-field guide for future reference, and much more. Great educational birding tool. Ask our staff for more details.


Save $5.00 from the Wild Bird Habitat Store when you download this birding software program using the code WBH68516. Learn more and download Thayer Birding Software at: 

Guide to Birds of North America   


Software download:  $49.95 - $5.00 Coup[on Code = &44.95


Thayer birding software on flash-drive: $69.95    

The staff at the Wild Bird Habitat Stores of Nebraska encourages everyone to take a bird walk in a natural area, park, or neighborhood and enjoy our birds during winter. 
Dave & Linda Titterington

The Wild Bird Habitat Stores

Family owned Backyard Bird Feeding Centers Since 1993


Toll Free:  (800) 606-2553

E-Mail:  info@wildbirdhabitatstore.com