the Sights and Sounds of Sandhill Crane Migration
Platte River, Nebraska Named Top Wildlife Watching Spots 2011
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…10 days of fun-filled education, family activities, entertainment and community wide events taking place in Kearney, Minden and Gibbon, Nebraska. Click here for more information and a schedule of events.
Crane Viewing Etiquette
View Rowe’s live CRANE CAM.
Iain Nicolson 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.
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.
FinishLine Outdoors also offers Sandhill Crane viewing opportunities. Click Here for more information.
For more information on the crane migration and other migratory birds visit NebraskaFlyway.com.
Sandhill Cranes Facts
The spring migration population of sandhill cranes in the Central Nebraska Flyway is estimated at 650,000.
Height — 3 to 4 feet
Wingspan – 6 feet
Weight — 8 to 12 pounds
Color – Gray
Migration – 170 to 450 miles/day
Flight Speed – 38 mph
Mating – Begins at age 3 to 4
Eggs — 20 to 40 years