On my way back West, I stopped in Nebraska to attend the Association of Field Ornithologists joint conference
(with Wilson Orn. Soc. and Cooper Orn. Soc.). Jenn Ma met me in Omaha and we traveled to Kearney together to check out the conference, meet ornithologists from all sorts of organizations and academic institutions, and check out the local birding attractions.
New York ornithologist Jennifer Ma
The view from Kearney - Sandhill Cranes
The other view from Kearney - migrating Geese of several varieties
The flying geese, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, fly at all levels of the atmosphere and made really interesting patterns in the skies above Kearney. Below, I've included some of my favorite patterns...
Most of the Geese in the above photos were Snow Geese and their "Blue Goose" morph. In addition to them, however, were Canada, Ross's and Greater white-fronted Geese.
Young Bald Eagle
Rows and rows of harvested corn - inefficiencies in corn harvesting were the major factor in allowing Sandhill Crane populations to explode in the first place. As harvesting has become increasingly efficient over the years, the amount of waste corn on the ground has been reduced and the "natural" number of Cranes that can be sustained has fallen.
Another Red-tailed Hawk (RTHA)
Oregon Dark-eyed Junco
Awesome distant kettle of geese
Close-ip of the kettle
In Kearney, the migrants fly from sunrise to sunset