19 March 2013

Created Spaces Are Places for Omaha Birders to Visit

Habitat work associated with the CSO! project in the Saddle Creek basin along Center Street, will establish a changed habitat and create a different space for local birdlife or other things of nature.

There will be an increased floral diversity along the creekway on the east side of Westlawn-Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery once the many types of plants are established along a defined corridor. Any animal life associated with this spot, along with the creek channel mitigation site to the westward, has to be monitored, according to the Section 404 permit acquired by the City of Omaha. This includes an indication to denote bird activities, occurrence of nests, or findings of feathers, or even visual observations that might be captured by a quick click of a camera.

Any efforts by members of the community could be helpful in achieving this goal. The question is what incentive is there for the bird-watching public to visit CSO! project green-spaces to do a bird survey and report their findings? And also have enough interest to share their findings with city officials?

For example, further details on birds, and even other wildlife could be helpful in indicating that the rigorous environmental review and need for mitigation has resulted in something beneficial. Several prominent CSO sites are within the confines of eastern Omaha, and with each of them are readily accessible, so it would be so easy to take a quick look on a day of fine weather.

Birders, during an outing of discovery, might convey that created habitat diversity and green-space are an asset to the city environs? There might be an appreciated view of some expressive bird of some subtlety? Or, with the new additions to the floral landscape, some unexpected, vivid moment might occur.

Or to convey a phrase: "You don't know if you don't go."

These surveys can also be done prior to any habitat modifications, and allow a before/after comparison. This sort of information is already available for Adams Park, Fontenelle Park and Spring Lake Park in eastern Omaha.

It would be helpful if a representative of the CSO! project would give a presentation to a local conservation group, perhaps at Fontenelle Forest or at a usual monthly meeting of the Audubon Society of Omaha. The speaker could tell the attendants about current and proposed projects, changing habitats, and that any effort to assist in some manner could be a contribution to the community!