Last weekend, as part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, birders and families across the Midlands took their binoculars and checklists in hand and tallied up the number and types of birds they spotted.
Is Nebraska birding heaven?
More bird species and more birds were counted in Nebraska than in neighboring Iowa, despite decidedly fewer people to do the counting.
In terms of statewide totals, 87 species and more than 73,000 birds were counted in Iowa.
In Nebraska, 102 species and nearly 94,000 birds were counted.
The count ran from Friday through Monday, and birders are still submitting lists.
Birders in Omaha recorded finding almost 50 species of birds. Most common in either state was the ubiquitous Canada goose.
Second was a type of sparrow known as the dark-eyed junco, spotted in high numbers in Omaha.
Solitary sightings were made of the tiny pine siskin, yellow throated warbler and merlin, among other birds.
Jim Ducey, an avid Omaha birder, said these types of events are proof that people need not leave town to enjoy successful birding.
So far this year, more than 86,000 bird lists have been submitted for the count. More than 600 species and 12 million birds have been identified in the U.S. and Canada.
For information, visit www.birdsource.org/gbbc/