Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

February 1890. Oologist 7(2):29.

Harris's Woodpecker in Nebraska.

Along the latter part of December, I was walking through a strip of timber about one-half mile west of town, when right in front of me, I head the rapping of some Woodpecker. I walked nearer as silently as possible, when a Flicker flew up and away. I walked on more rapidly, then thinking that was all there was, when out jumped what I thought at first sight, was a Downy Woodpecker. It lit on a stump about ten yards ahead of me and I could see it plainly. It was much to large for a Downy and I thought to dark for a Hairy. I watched it for almost an hour. It came quite near me several times, but flew away almost as soon as it saw me.

At last the mate (a male I think) came up and I saw them no more that day.

I went home not knowing what I had seen.

The following Thursday a traveling-man, who is quite a "bird crank," came around and I took him out. As soon as he laid eyes on my bird he said, "Boy, that's a Harris's Woodpecker." Well I was glad to hear that, for several of our local sages (?) had declared that I had only seen a Downy or perhaps a Hairy Woodpecker.

M. H. Reed,
Otoe Co., Neb.