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!