Sandhill Crane and Snow Geese in Nebraska - Friend150

Dan Friend

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After photographing the Big 12 Basketball Tournament in Kansas City and Greg Kullman visited relatives in Missouri we decided to drive 5 hours more away from home and sleep in blind with no heat or facilities. Why? To get a glimpse of North America’s greatest migration.


Every year 400,000 to 600,000 sandhill cranes—80 percent of all the cranes on the planet—congregate along an 80-mile stretch of the central Platte River in Nebraska, to fatten up on waste grain in the empty cornfields in preparation for the journey to their Arctic and subarctic nesting grounds.


Although the birds in our area decided to roost little upstream from our blind, it was still an amazing sight to see and hear. They are extremely noisy. The 10 eagles that landed near the cranes made it even more exciting. Then on top of that seeing thousands of Snow Geese landing on ponds in the area made it more fun. Fun trip. Short video showing Greg and I at the blind we spent the night in. It was around 50 degrees during the day but night it got down in the teens and was very cold.

The Blind

The Sandhill Cranes seemed to enjoy stretching their wings

Stretching the wings

Thousands of Snow Geese lifting off a lake

Snow Geese lift off

Click to open gallery of images of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese

Sandhill Crane and Snow Geese Photo Gallery

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