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Crane season continues to attract tourists

GRAND ISLAND, Nebraska (Nebraska) – If you’ve seen birds flocking, you know it’s crane season. Sandhill crane migration continues and Central Nebraska is their main resting place.

Migration is the second largest migration in the world. The cranes spend several weeks in the Platte River valley to gain 20 percent of their body weight before heading further north. Officials said people are coming from as far away as Japan and Europe to see the migration. But most visitors are from neighboring states.

“Every day, out-of-state people come to our office asking where to go to see the cranes and what they need to do while they’re here,” said Danna Jelinek, program and public relations manager at Grand Island Tourism. . “So we get visitors not only from nearby states, but from more distant countries, and sometimes from all over the world.”

Jelinek said crane season helps all businesses in the area because visitors are always looking for places to go.

“We had two couples come and both stayed in our community for a few nights and both asked what they could do while they were here and restaurants they could visit,” Jelinek said. “So each of them influenced our employment in the area by going to restaurants.”

Jelinek said that all those who come during the crane season also spend money in our community, which is a big advantage. The crane season also attracts tour guides.

“There are people in the state right now during the crane lifting season who are rarely in the office,” Jelinek said. “Because we meet with visitors and help them either see the cranes, accompany them on bus tours, or show them various places they can visit so they can find the cranes.”

Jelinek said that the combination of horse racing season and crane season gives people the opportunity to participate in other activities.

“The overlap between racing season and crane season means we are very busy and it gives people who come to our community for one reason or another the opportunity to do something different while they are here,” Jelinek said. “Sometimes it’s different groups of people who visit these places, but there are always overlaps.”

Jelinek said the crane season is popular because nature lovers from all over the world view the crane migration as one of their must-do activities.

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