Saturday, April 01, 2006

500,000 Cranes

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If you truly enjoy birds, I highly recommend traveling to Nebraska in March to watch over 500,000 Sandhill Cranes stage on the Platte River. I went there a few years ago and scheduled time in the blinds on the Platte both morning and evening – what an incredible thrill. The sight and sound is unlike anything you’ll ever experience.

Someone I know who saw the Platte cranes described the spectacle as “prehistoric” and the sound akin to a stadium of cheering fans at a football game. It’s mesmerizing - as though you’re watching something archaic that’s much larger than life and peering in on a clan-like ritual that you don’t belong to. The river is filled with cranes...the sky is filled with cranes. There you are...very singular and vastly outnumbered.

From USA Today online:

"KEARNEY, Neb. - Along the banks of central Nebraska's Platte River, winter doesn't give up its grip easily. In late March, the stubbled fields of corn and soybeans are still brown; bare cottonwood branches glimmer like ghosts against an afternoon sky swollen with snow."

Link: Full Article - Saga of the sandhill crane

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Platte Sandhill Cranes image © 2006 Mike McDowell

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