The Canada Geese Mating Ritual
After seeing many posts about the fantastic wildlife encounters at Heron Haven Nature Center, I decided to visit. This small urban wetland sanctuary is located right in the middle of the city of Omaha, Nebraska. At first, I was disappointed that I did not hear the sounds of birds singing since heavy traffic and the sound of children screaming from the ball fields down the road drowned them out. But then I realized the noise that I considered a negative camouflaged the people on the sanctuary trail and is most likely the secret sauce for what makes Heron Haven so great.
They have an excellent photography blind on a pond at the end of a short trail. The day I visited, the nesting Canada Geese entertained me on the island in the center of the pond. A Great Blue Heron flew across my path and perched in a tree at the edge of the pond, grooming himself, while a Great Egret posed atop a bush over the water doing the same. In addition, there were at least a dozen Northern Shovelers swimming about while turtles sunned themselves on a log nearby. That alone was enough for any nature lover to consider the day a success! I might add that this was all happening simultaneously and was not the accumulated sights of many hours of observation.
What happened next, I never would have expected in a million years! Of course, it had been going on for a while. But, there were so many more exciting birds to observe; I didn't comprehend the rarity of the moment until it was almost too late. A pair of Canada Geese had swum away from the group. They were performing courtship behavior and eventually mated right in front of the blind!
I am the 8th photographer in 4 generations of my family. Back in 2006, my husband accepted a job traveling, and I jumped at the chance to go with him.
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