DIANA'S BLOG



The Annual Sandhill Crane Migration in Nebraska


Sandhill Cranes(Grus canadensis) landing in the Platte River at sunset near Gibbon, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration

This is the sixth year in a row that I have driven out to Kearney, Nebraska to photograph the more than 400,000 Sandhill Cranes migration along the Platte River. Each March the Sandhill Cranes fly through a critical sliver of habitat in North American’s Central Flyway. They spend several weeks along the Platte River resting and eating the leftover corn from the surrounding cornfields, regaining strength for the rest of their journey north. I have been very lucky to see amazing numbers of Sandhill Cranes in the past but this year’s surprise was the large number of endangered Whooping Cranes that I saw among the Sandhill Cranes.

The main reason I got to see so many Whooping Cranes this year is that I met Chad Gideon who lives in Wood River, Nebraska. I call him the “Whooping Crane Whisperer.” Chad has lived in the Wood River area all of his life and he knows how to anticipate the whereabouts of Whooping Cranes. Thanks to his amazing crane spotting I had seven different opportunities to photograph the whoopers in the Platte River, in cornfields and along Interstate 80 (which required parking on a gravel road and hiking down the highway to see the crane). My brother Steven Robinson accompanied me on this trip and we rented Chad’s amazing cabin on the Platte River in Wood River. Steve is the one who found a way to get to the whoopers without scaring them. We were able to watch the Whooping Cranes in the field for hours and get some nice shots of them.


Endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) in a cornfield near Wood River, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) in flight over a cornfield near Gibbon, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Whooping Crane (Grus americana) with two Sandhill Cranes in a cornfield near Gibbon, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) and Whooping Crane (Grus americana) have an altercation on a foggy morning in a cornfield near Gibbon, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Whooping Crane (Grus americana) in a cornfield with Sandhill Cranes near Gibbon, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Whooping Crane (Grus americana) in flight with Sandhill Cranes near Wood River, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


Whooping Crane (Grus americana) in flight with Sandhill Cranes near Wood River, Nebraska during the annual Sandhill Crane migration


An endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana) and two Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in flight over the Platte River, Nebraska


Sandhill Cranes flying over the Platte River at sunset, Nebraska


Dawn is breaking – Nebraska windmill at sunrise


Three trumpeting Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) in a cornfield near Gibbon, Nebraska


Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) takes flight in the early morning on the Platte River, Nebraska


Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) take flight in the early morning on the Platte River, Nebraska – slow shutter speed


Cows and Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) share a field near the Platte River, Nebraska


Thousands of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) in flight above Kearney, Nebraska


Thousands of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) in flight above Kearney, Nebraska


Sandhill cranes flying in front of the moon along the Platte River, Nebraska


Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) flying in to roost in the Platte River at sunset near Alda, Nebraska


Sandhill Cranes on a snowy sand bar in the Platte River in the early morning near Wood River, Nebraska


Late afternoon light over the Platte River near our cabin in Wood River, Nebraska


Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) in flight against the setting sun near Wood River, Nebraska

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