Photo of the Week – April 3, 2015

A month ago, we apparently had a large number of white winged visitors hanging around our Derr Wetland Restoration.  I only know this because our timelapse cameras picked them up.

Snow geese.  March 3, 2015.  3pm.

Snow geese. March 3, 2015. 3pm.

Snow geese are common along the Platte River in the late winter and early spring.  Flocks of tens or even hundreds of thousands of birds are frequently seen, resembling huge white clouds of feathered chaos.  Except, of course, that chaos is not the right word since the geese seem incredibly adept at avoiding collisions as they swirl up and down between earth and sky.

Although it was somewhat less impressive visually, another photo from the same cameras showed two bigger white birds in our wetland a few weeks earlier.  Trumpeter swans are rarely seen in our neighborhood, so it was a real treat to know they’d recognized our restored wetland as a good place to hang out.

Trumpeter swans on the restored Derr Wetland.  February 13, 2015

Trumpeter swans on the restored Derr Wetland. February 13, 2015

We can’t (unfortunately) be out at the wetland every minute of the day, so we miss a lot of action. Even though our timelapse cameras only fire once an hour, it’s amazing how much we can learn from them.

(Thanks, as always, to Moonshell Media for their help with our timelapse project.)


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in Prairie Animals, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Photo of the Week – April 3, 2015

  1. Fred Goss says:


    Are you headed to the Prairie Chicken Festival next week in Loup County, NE? Thanks, Fred.

  2. Having seen it freshly constructed and in severe drought condition, it’s really exciting and gratifying to see your photos of Derr Wetland coming to life, Chris.


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