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Annual sandhill crane Platte Valley migration draws to close

Posted April 1st, 2010

Each spring an estimated 600,000 Sandhill Cranes pass thru the Nebraska Platte River valley heading northward, during the Annual Spring and Fall Sandhill Crane Migrations. Standing four to five feet high and possessing a wing span of six to seven feet,an average weight of 8 to 12 pounds — the numbers are all the more impressive given their size.

They migrate through an 80 mile wide “Flyway” stretch along the Platte River from near Grand Island to west of Kearney, NE where the river provides the perfect place to rest, as well as an abundance of food fuel up for the rest of the journey.  It is estimated that about 80% of the world’s population of Sandhill Cranes do an annual migration layover in this area of the Platte River.

Now at the tail-end of their stay in the Kearney area, the birds are preparing to continue their long journey as far north as Alaska and Eastern Siberia to begin breeding. To catch a glimpse of the birds before they move out you try and book some birdwatching time in a blind or check out the crane cam at www.rowesanctuary.org

To see photos from this season click here.

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