07 January 2010

Spring-water and Other Flows Provide Midtown Fowl Havens

Despite the extremely cold weather in the Omaha region, there are a couple of places in midtown Omaha that continue to provide a safe haven for waterfowl.

With temperatures reaching -15oF, waters at these two spots remain unfrozen, allowing the birds to roost and feed.

At the upper reach of Happy Hollow Creek, the setting was suitable enough to attract a Gadwall, that was first seen two days ago. It was also noticed on 5 January.

This is the first record of this species having been observed in the parks of this neighborhood. This species was not noted for either the Omaha or Desoto Bend christmas bird counts.

Shadow Lake has been a haven for more than 20 Mallards during the entire winter thus far, with more than in last December when there was a greater amount of food (pondweed) available. Spring-water flows provide the warm water which the fowl appreciate. There is not enough disturbance to drive them away, so they should remain until conditions improve enough for them to go elsewhere, or until it is time for them to go elsewhere when spring approaches.

January Snowstorm

Another major snow event blew into town on January 6th. The mallards remained, hunkered down at the one place they knew where they could float around.

Mallards, some partially snow-covered, at Shadow Lake.

Shadow Lake, January 6, 2010 during another of the season's snow storms.

Group of Mallards looking for some food along Happy Hollow Creek.

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