“When I am birdwatching, I experience what psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi calls “flow.” I lose the sense of time; I lose the sense of being encapsulated in a body with all its hungers, aches, and limitations. I get lost in beauty and harmony, memory and knowledge, pattern and depth. The borders between senses dissolve and I experience synesthesia.” Danusha Goska, American Thinker.
I’ve been wanting to get there for sometime to check out the various bird species. I have no excuses. It’s only a 10-minute drive by car from my house in the Metcalfe Park Neighborhood of Omaha, NE. Jim Ducey, an avid Omaha birder and bird advocate, has been “bugging me to no end” to go there, watch our feathered friends, appreciate those using the area at the time and shoot some pics.
So, finally, about mid morning today, Sunday, March 22, 2015, with glorious weather, I made it there and spent a little time observing the early spring bird life utilizing its waters. So, what was my destination? It was the public Levi Carter/Kiwanis Park complex in northeast Omaha. Carter Lake is actually an old, natural, oxbow of the Missouri River that is situated in the shadow of downtown Omaha near Eppley Airfield.
I know what you’re thinking. Birdwatching at urban Omaha’s Carter Lake or at the adjacent Kiwanis Park Lagoon, really? C’mon! Truth is, extraordinary birding awaits Omahans and others at a place like Carter Lake with its geography (close proximity to the Missouri River for bird navigation/migration) along with its topography and habitat diversity. In Nebraska’s public parks, green spaces and waterfront properties, you’ll find some of the best places in the world to watch birds, most notably during the spring migration!
For tens of thousands of years, since the end of the last ice age, birds most likely have migrated to and through these areas. Many are easily accessible by foot, bike, bus or are a short trip by motor vehicle. Dozens of different birds can be seen at these urban spots and the variety of them is ever-changing throughout the year with seasons, weather and migration. Some are temporary visitors, some are permanent residents.
Birding in urban areas like the Carter Lake/Kiwanis Park complex is truly an adventure. Often, urban locations such as this one may even rival those in the countryside when it comes to numbers.
Don’t overlook what may lie just beyond your house in a public space for some great birdwatching experiences. I know I had the most enjoyable of mornings watching and photographing the cool birds of Carter, Kiwanis. By the way, how many birds can you identify in the blog photos? Go to this link if you need assistance.
For all kinds of information about birdwatching and Nebraska’s big International Migratory Bird Month coming up in May, click here. Happy birding!