Larry Porter Wildlife Stories

Larry Porter Wildlife Stories

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

Biggest opossum either of us had ever seen

Biggest opossum either of us had ever seen

The late Jack Higgins had a warm heart and a willingness to help out whenever he was needed. Consequently, when a farmer friend asked him to tend his horses and chickens while he went on vacation, Jack readily agreed. There was one problem. The farmer’s chickens were...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Photography by Jon Sailer

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