We had a wonderful adventure yesterday. We drove westward from Omaha to the Nebraska Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center near Kearney (since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll say that it rhymes with “blarney” rather than give you a phonetic pronunciation).
There we walked on a path that leads from the back of the Center out to a footbridge across the Platte River to see if we could see any Sand Hill Cranes (Grus Canadensis).
Each year, between late February and early April, some half-million of these magnificent birds pass through central Nebraska as they migrate between summer nesting grounds in the north and winter feeding grounds in the south.
This number comprises an estimated 80% of the entire world population.
We had only a little less than an hour outside and spent the majority of that time, um, craning our necks to try to pick out any movement in the sky and finally had some luck, when (only) one family group of fewer than a dozen birds flew over us.
They were too far away for me to be able to capture any great detail with my 70-300 mm zoom lens but close enough to provide a good idea of their grace and beauty in flight.
We are considering another visit in the very near future to spend considerably more time, possibly in a blind. If we do, I’ll be sure to report.
Please click on one of the images if you’d like to see it at higher resolution.
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