Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Migration in Nebraska's Central Flyway

One of the harbingers of spring in Nebraska is the spring migration of Sandhills Cranes and geese of various types in the central flyway.

Our friend Gary B and me at the Sandhills Crane
Center next to the species that come through
Central Nebraska. They are magnificent!
"From February through April each spring nearly 500,000 Sandhill Cranes crowd together along a short stretch of the Platte River in south central Nebraska.  This migration event is one of the most spectacular wildlife happenings that can be witnessed anywhere. Several years ago National Geographic magazine named this annual crane migration through central Nebraska as one of North America’s two greatest natural wildlife phenomena – the other one being the Caribou migration in Alaska. The world's foremost authority on birds, Roger Tory Peterson, wrote "It is the largest concentration of any species of cranes, anywhere in the world.” He listed the Central Platte Valley as one of his twelve favorite birding hotspots in North America." An excerpt from an article on the migration in Grand Island @

Yesterday while doing chores, Mark called me to step outside onto the back deck and listen. We live about a mile and half from the river. The cacophony of sound from all the migrating birds on the river was thrilling as you can imagine. I feel privileged to experience this wonderful season of nature.

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Janet said...

Thanks for the video and information. People in big cities never experience this kind of thing. We don't see what you see, but just birds migrating is a sight to see. And speaking of that, I guess the flickers will be arriving soon. I did see the info you sent some time back and looked up what can be done. And that is about what we did do, hang shiny things on the eaves. Will be putting them up later this month. And did read where they like artificial stucco, just what we have. ba humbug...

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing pics and amazing migration. After seeing this I found out that there is a man out West of town that has a huge flock of geese he feeds. He has a large pond, too. We went out there after lunch and watched the flock come in from their feeding. We figured there must be about 500 of them......the field was dark with them as they sat down to rest. This is not many compared to what you are seeing, but awesome just the same. I had no idea he had so many. We have also been seeing and hearing flocks going over heading North. Sometimes it has been at night. One time we were going along near Kearney Ne. about this time of year, and saw cranes coming in on the river. They looked like small airplanes, and they were so thick it looked like a person could walk across the river on their backs. LOL
Sandy in South Dakota