Watching

WAHOO – Bird watching enthusiasts gathered Saturday morning for the annual Lake Wanahoo Bird Walk.

This year, 12 bird watchers catalogued 38 different bird species.

Bird Club Member Paula Hoppe said results were similar to past years.

The Bird Walk has been an annual event for the club since 2015. Every year, club members and whoever else was interested meet sometime in early May for a group breakfast and then head out to Lake Wanahoo. There they spent a few hours watching for different bird species.

“Early May is a good time to see different types of shorebirds,” Hoppe said.

May is also Nebraska Migratory Bird Month.

According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Nebraska is situated on a major bird migration route, meaning thousands of species pass through each spring and fall. International Migratory Bird Day is the second Saturday in May, but because of the number of birds that can be seen, the state has extended it to a month.

On Saturday at the recreation area north of Wahoo, the bird watchers spotted multiple species of birds, including geese, ducks, hawks, eagles, pelicans, finches and meadowlarks. Hoppe said two migratory species that stood out were the American Pipit and a few Black Terns.

Hoppe said last year’s walk had about 14 people come out and they recorded 41 different bird species.

Binoculars were provided by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for those attending this year, as well as snacks and water.

Hoppe said the club members recorded the species of birds they witnessed and tallied up how many species they saw at the end. Their findings were then submitted with the online program eBird of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This information is used by birding groups nation-wide to provide the most current and useful information available.

“It’s about fostering awareness of birds in the area, helping people see the different species that pass through. We’re doing our small part,” Hoppe said.

Some club members have been attending these walks since they’ve begun and were very excited.

“I’ve been coming for four or five years. It’s just a lot of fun,” Jane Hollst of Mead said.

“This is my fifth year doing,” Lyle Lubker of Wahoo said. “Just seeing all the different types of birds and meeting for the group breakfast. It’s a great time.”

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