Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sandhill Crane Spring Migration

 Every Spring the entire population of migratory subspecies of Sandhill Cranes (over 500,000 currently) arrives to spend about a month on the Platte River in central Nebraska.  Cranes are among the oldest living birds in the world; fossil records indicate that the cranes have been coming to Nebraska for over 9 million years - long before there was a Platte River. 
At dawn the birds leave the Platte for the fields where they spend the day fattening up for the long journey to their northern nesting grounds.  Shortly before dusk they gather back along the narrow sandbars in the center of the river - here they will be alerted to predators who must splash through the deeper edgewater to get to the sandbars. 
It is a joy to experience the magic of this wild migration. 

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