Calling all bird lovers! This is something if you haven’t seen you must see soon! Even if you are not an avid bird watcher- seeing the spring migration in Nebraska is something you should really add to your bucket list. It is just truly amazing the multitudes of birds you will see.
The Sandhill cranes are a beautiful bird that migrate right through the midwest every spring. So while you can see them in many different states the part that makes their trip to Nebraska more special is their 5 week layover along the Platte River.
It is estimated that over 500,000 cranes use a 30 mile stretch of the Platte River as their stopping ground during this great journey. You can find them between mid-February to mid-April and along the river inbetween Kearney, NE and Grand Island, NE. But that is not all! It is estimated that during this time you can see between 7-10 million ducks and geese making the same trek! I have lived in Nebraska all my life and have heard of this but have never witnessed it and appreciated the amount of birds that truly fly over head on a daily bases. While I am to far east for the cranes I see a ton of ducks and geese on daily bases. So one day we took a drive to see the cranes up close and personal. My daughter (the bird lover of the family) was in heaven. Here are some photos of our trip as well as some that were taken on just an every day drive.(sorry not the best quality!)
|This is just a portion of the cranes we saw in this field.|
|So those dark spots above the ground is the cloud of snow geese|
|A slideshow design by Smilebox|
As mentioned those were not the greatest of photos. I have been trying to get back up to the river to see them again but time and weather has not allowed me to do so. The photos above do not even begin to show how many we saw (my battery kept dying and I couldn’t zoom in enough!). There is a reason why Forbes Magazine has labeled this the #1 place in the world for bird watchers! I really recommend making the trek to see and hear these beautiful birds. You can find some wonderful stopping places on the Nebraska Travels website. There are places like Rowe Sanctuary where you can rent a blind during sunrise or sunset to see these birds up close and personal on the river. You can also view this beautiful event on their live WebCam– the best time is normally around 7:30am CST and 7pm CST (the camera is on 24/7 so you can at least hear their song at night!).
~I was not compensated for this post in anyway. Just sharing an adventure that my kids and I took and will probably take more often!~