Tag Archives: Platte River

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!

Platte River Migration Honking Good Time! (video)

Hmmm … I tried to count snow geese this afternoon flying over head near the banks of the Platte River. Gave up after about 10,000! For over 15 minutes, successive waves of V’s flew overhead as they migrated north. Would not be surprised if I saw over 100,000! Awe inspiring. Oh yes, the official count of Sandhill Cranes according to the Crane Center is 460,000! Uff dah. If you are into peace and quiet this is not a place to visit. Add all the honking geese to the honking cranes … whole lot of honking going on!!!

These two photos are from earlier in the day. Most of the surrounding ponds were iced over except this bit of water. The snow geese, greater white fronted geese, Ross’ Geese and Canada Geese filled the air and water. Most of the birds (i.e. thousands and thousands) were out in farm fields eating.

Geese Filled the Sky!

Geese Filled the Water!

And a short video …