Crane Watch Event

Kearney, Nebraska "Sandhill Crane Capital of the World"

Experience the Sights and Sounds of the Sandhill Crane Migration

Every year during March and early April, over 600,000 Sandhill Cranes migrate on the Platte River valley in order to ‘fuel up’ before resuming their northward migration.

Visit Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival! March 22-25, 2018

Coming Soon:
The 2018 Crane Brochure

Sandhill Crane Viewing Venues

Learn more at


Crane Viewing Tips:

For your safety, please educate yourself and encourage those around you to practice proper etiquette to make the migration season more enjoyable for wildlife, visitors and local residents:

  • Do not stop on major (paved) roadways, driveways or any other private road or gated entry.
  • Do not stop abruptly if you see a flock of birds from the road.  The person traveling behind you may not be a crane watcher.
  • When viewing birds from a county roadside (gravel road), please pull as far off the road as possible and use your emergency flashers.  Most crane watchers tend to drive these roads slowly, so be mindful of farm machinery and local traffic by pulling over when necessary.
  • Do not attempt to approach the birds.  Use your vehicle as a “blind” and stay in your car or right next to it when setting up tripods for spotting scopes or cameras.
  • Do not attempt to approach birds on their roosts.  One alarm call from a bird can send the entire flock into a panicked flight, using up precious energy reserves and exposing the birds to hazards such as power lines – not to mention ruining the viewing experience of other visitors.
  • It is illegal – and a disturbance to other birdwatchers – to harass cranes and other birds in any manner.
  • Most land in the Platte River valley is private property.  DO NOT TRESPASS!
  • Binoculars and spotting scopes are a real benefits for better viewing of all species of birds.

Fast Facts

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 — 2 per year

For more interesting facts about Sandhill Cranes, visit Audubon Rowe Sanctuary or the International Crane Foundation website.

Crane Videos

Sandhill Crane Migration Experiences

Sandhill Crane Migration

Crane Invite

About the Sandhill Cranes

Our Sandhill Crane videos were produced in part by a grant from the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission and the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund.