Platte River Sandhill Crane Migration Morning Madness!

How does one communicate the visual experience of 460,000 Sandhill Cranes? The number of cranes is not my estimate, but the Audubon Center’s estimate. Last night, Molly and I stood on a footbridge over the Platte River in 20F temperatures and a strong wind and saw what we thought were a small numbers of cranes, certainly no where near 1/2 million birds.

Given our experience the prior night, we almost did not head back to the Platte at sunrise. Oh my, would that have been a mistake. Sandhill cranes were everywhere as they left their night time roosts on mid river sandbars and flew out to farm fields for breakfast.

I have include three videos, which is a much larger number than I would normally post, but perhaps it will help you understand what one of the last great North American migrations both looks and sounds like! I have also included one still image to start the process … taken by my wife Molly of me watching the amazing spectacle. Check out Molly’s blog at SuperiorFootprints.Org.

Video 1: Sandhill Crane Mass Landing & Takeoff

Video 2: Sandhill Cranes Filled the Sky!

Video 3: Sandhill Cranes Filled the Sky!

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