Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Welcome to Spring in Nebraska. Chilly rain one day and sunshine the next. Earlier this morning, the sky was bright and blue and now it has clouded over. Cooler weather and precipitation, dare I mention a few snowflakes, are forecast for tomorrow. 

Yesterday my husband and I took advantage of a sunny day to drive out to the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska to view the sandhill crane migration. The Platte, a braided river that meanders around sandbars and shifting islands carries snow melt from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River. The short stretch near Kearney hosts the annual stopover of these birds. Between mid-March and early April, between 400,000 to 500,000 cranes feed in nearby fields and settle on the river at night. The average wingspan of an adult is between 5.5 to 7.5 feet. 

We arrived mid afternoon, found a safe place to park on a county road, and watched the birds. Now and then they spread their long wings to move about but generally seemed content feeding on leftover corn under a warm sun. After an early dinner in town, we drove back to the State Recreation Area and walked out on a pedestrian bridge that spans the river.

Standing on that bridge at sunset is magic. During the day, the birds call softly to each other in the fields but as the sun falls lower in the sky they call more frequently. Before the birds are visible from the bridge, their swelling chorus fill the air. Soon a few lone birds and then small groups begin to fly toward the river. And then ribbons of birds appear overhead, flying up and down the river in search of safe place to rest. They don't land near the bridge because too many of us are standing there with cameras and binoculars. Even so, their ancient music is the beginning of Spring. 

Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy Passover.
Linking with Kat and the Unravelers




  1. I've heard that the sandhill crane migration is a majestic event to behold, and based on your photos, I certainly agree. Maybe someday I'll see this in person, but until then, thank you for sharing this wonderful sight!

  2. What a lovely way to spend a day, out "in the nature" as Dolly would say when she was a little tyke...I'm jealous that you live close enough to see that phenomenal sight but ever so appreciative that you shared it with us. Thank you! Do have a lovely holiday.

  3. How wonderful that you're close enough to watch the migration in its full splendor! We get some sandhill cranes here in Michigan -- although not in the numbers you see. (I'm talking hundreds, not hundreds-of-thousands.) They are just incredible birds. I would love to see them in Nebraska someday. Thank you so much for sharing. XO

  4. Happy Easter! You look wonderful all bundled but in sunshine.. I think I would love nebraska from what you’ve shared :)

  5. I am envious that you are near the sand hill crane migration route! I hope you had a lovely Easter!