REPUBLICAN CITY — As the weather warms and ice on the Harlan County Reservoir thaws, more and more American white pelicans are passing through the area.
Joel Jorgensen, nongame bird program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said that after a couple days of 70-plus degree temperatures the number of all types of migratory birds should be growing.
"I think the number of bird units that are moving into the state today is probably outrageous," he said. "It wouldn't surprise me if it's — not just pelicans but overall birds — in the hundreds of thousands if not the millions and pelicans are certainly going to be moving up and making an appearance."
Towns surrounding the lake are playing host through April 15 to the 2014 Harlan White Pelican Watch.
Events include the following:
— The Great PeliCAN Food Drive at Joe Camera, 717 Main St. Canned food donations will benefit the Caring Cupboard.
— Abstract Art Workshops with fun, free, hands-on painting classes for students and adults with leader Sara Mahalek, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 22 at the Alma Johnson Center, 509 Main St.
— Alma Chamber of Commerce Spring Fling, 5-7:30 p.m. March 28. Stores stay open late; other activities include business booths and meal at auditorium, wagon rides, free drawings and an art show opening.
— Paradise on the Prairie Art and Photography Show and Silent Auction, March 28 through April 4 at the Johnson Center. The auction closes 6 p.m. April 4. The show also includes student sponsored by the Harlan County Journal using recycled newspapers to create art. The artist and public reception will be 5-6:30 p.m., March 29 at the Johnson Center.
— Nebraska Chamber Players, Composer Tristan Fuentes and Choreographer Susan Levine Ourada present "Pelican Frolics" with original music and dance composed in honor of the White Pelican migration, 6:30 p.m., March 29, at the Johnson Center. Admission will be by donation. The work's world premier will be March 28 at the NET studios in Lincoln.
— The art installation "Migrations" by Tricha Wiese, an update of her 2011 installation, will be in place March 28 through April 4, at the Johnson Center.
— A lunch and learn event "Birds and Poetry," with Bill Clemente of Peru State College, 12:15 p.m., April 4, at the Johnson Center.
— Free birding boat tours are available daily 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., March 28 through April 5, sponsored by the Harlan County Lake Association.