Larry Porter Wildlife Stories

A unique collection of stories and photography compiled by Larry Porter, former Outdoor writer/sportswriter at Omaha World-Herald.

Larry Porter Wildlife Stories
Blush a bit from embarrassment

Blush a bit from embarrassment

The appearance of a Townsend solitaire at Schramm State Park last fall caused me to blush a bit from embarrassment. Townsends are western birds. They love mountain regions that are coated with pine, fir and spruce forests. I photographed a Townsend in a nearly...

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Easily Flim-Flammed

Easily Flim-Flammed

Eastern towhees are easily flim-flammed. It’s too bad they don’t have the Sherlock Holmes type of guile that a woman bowler used to catch a thief. The woman bowled weekly in a league with two other women on her team. On this particular bowling night she put $40 in her...

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Sometimes you learn the darndest things.

Sometimes you learn the darndest things.

For instance, birds can see ultraviolet light. That’s bad new for a vole, a mouselike rodent that is a common food item for predator birds such as American kestrels. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, voles leave trails of urine as they run along the ground....

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Sea Ducks

Sea Ducks

A sea duck made a rare appearance on the Great Plains this past week. The long-tailed duck, a hen, was among a flock of ruddy ducks that popped in for a visit at Capitol Beach Lake in Lincoln. I’m confident the longtail didn’t choose the 300-acre private lake because...

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Fish Ducks

Fish Ducks

Ask an aquafarmer or a duck hunter what they think about mergansers and the reply might be so frosty that a hooded parka would be required to continue the conversation. Fish ducks specialize in eating fish and are so horrid on a dinner plate that few are shot...

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Bald Eagle on the Prowl

Bald Eagle on the Prowl

Coots are quite common on Midlands lakes—large or small—this spring. It was an overcast afternoon, and a large number of coots were lounging on or near a mud flat at Lincoln’s Holmes Lake as I drove through the suburban park. Flying is not a coot’s strong point. They...

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Red-Necked Grebe

Red-Necked Grebe

Steve Kruse wore a huge smile beneath his cold-weather hoodie when we met in a parking area near the dam at Stagecoach Lake near Hickman, Nebraska, last week. The mid-April temperature was in the high 20s, a thick layer of clouds produced a gray morning and a stiff...

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Great Egrets

Great Egrets

As the father of three daughters and the grandfather of six, I’ve seen my share of primping. But not even preparation for a prom rivals the preening carried on by great egrets during the spring. Great egrets grow long plumes that flow from their backs like fine, lacey...

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Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

It’s hard to believe, but a male indigo bunting is a fake. Its strikingly beautiful blue feathers are a pigment of our imagination. There isn’t a speck of blue pigment in any of its feathers. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, their color comes from...

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