Cranes congregate in central Nebraska for migration

WOOD RIVER, Neb. (Nebraska) – There are many seasons in Nebraska, but now we are in one of the most anticipated; crane season. During this season, Sandhill cranes make stops in central Nebraska on their way south.

People from all over the world come to see the cranes along the Platte River. Crane Trust officials said that from February to April nearly 30,000 visitors come to see the migration. Those visitors represent a $17 million impact on the economy, and Nebraska appears to be the midpoint of the crane journey.

“The central flyway creates an hourglass or bottleneck here in Nebraska,” said Brice Krohn, President of the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. “Drag those cranes on a migratory journey here to rest, refuel, and find a mate if they’re single. This gives Sandhill Cranes the best opportunity to stay for a three to four week period following their arrival.”

Krohn said Sandhill cranes gain 20% of their body weight during migration, and the Crane Trust does more than just provide a scenario.

“We can get people involved here in cross-generational activities,” said Amy Sandeen, Outreach & Special Events Manager at Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Centre. “So not only do they share that experience, but they also have things they can talk about and discover and explore more after they’re here.”

Sandeen said there are few opportunities for families to learn and explore together. Adding, she hopes people will acquire a deeper desire for knowledge and experiences similar to those provided by the Crane Trust. Cranes are only around for a short time, and for some, experiencing migration can bring you closer to nature.

“I always tell people it makes your soul vibrate,” Krohn said. “When you stop life for a minute and enjoy the view along the river and listen to nature. But not only to listen, but also to actually witness the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that arrive.”

Krohn said the natural scenery offered by the Platte River enhances the crane migration experience.

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