Sandhill Cranes

Kearney, Nebraska ”Sandhill Crane Capital of the World”
Experience the Sights and Sounds of Sandhill Crane Migration

Every year during March and early April, over 500,000 sandhill cranes migrate on the Platte River valley in
order to ‘fuel up’ before resuming their northward migration.
In 2014, the Kearney area will  hold its annual Crane Watch Festival.  March 21-30, 10 days of fun-filled education, family activities, entertainment and community wide events. 

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Friday, March 21 LiftOff Luncheon ~ Brian “Fox’ Ellis
Brian Fox Ellis Audubon picture11:45a – 1:15p, Younes Conference Center
$25 per person. Purchase tickets by calling 308-237-3101.
“Explore the human and natural history of the tall grass prairie through this dynamic presentation of ecological folklore.”  Click here to read more about Brian.

Saturday, March 29 ~ 3pm & 7pm
Merryman Performing Arts Center
Click here to purchase tickets.
Heather Henson’s FLIGHT: a Crane’s Story explores nature’s deepest mysteries and spiritual essence of a Crane’s life cycle through IBEX puppetry. Due to environmental changes from human activity Awaken (the crane) needs to learn to fly and find where south is, so she can do what her family does naturally, migrate. Mother Earth and new friends help guide her along the way since her family left early. Awaken encounters windstorms, directional loss, and of course missing her mother and father. It isn’t until Awaken listens to her own heart and inner compass while utilizing her special gift of “whooping” to find her family. The crane family completes their annual cycle again and again. This interactive performance uses puppetry, kiting, and music from indigenous North America. As we take care of the earth and one another, let’s celebrate Awaken the crane as she crosses over from adolescence into adulthood. We are all connected in this great circle of life.  Learn more about FLIGHT.

COF New Victory 2011 (2)





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March 21-23, 2014
The Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival has been celebrating this wildlife phenomenon for 44 years! Join fellow enthusiasts to learn more about the cranes, waterfowl, and other bird species by attending our concurrent sessions, visiting a crane viewing blind, and participating in one of our field trips.

Iain Nicolson of  Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary offers guided trips to view sandhill cranes from observation blinds on the banks of the Platte River as well as conducting blind tours twice daily during the migration. View the cranes LIVE! CRANE CAM  Rowe Sanctuary 2014 Brochure

Crane viewing can also be done on your own at the Hike/Bike Bridge located at Fort Kearny State Recreational Area.  The old railroad bridge spans across the river and is the perfect place to stop after visiting the Historical Park.  The bridge is 300 yards from the parking area and offers great views of the river anytime of the day.

Crane Video coutresy of Huntrex Digital Productions

Thank you to the Nebraska Game & Park Commission/NEBRASKAland Magazine for the use of photos and for grant funds used to promote the annual migration of the Sandhill Cranes.
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For more information on the crane migration and other migratory birds visit