Sandhill Cranes Heading North

One of the world’s greatest migration spectacles will be in full swing in March but we’re already receiving reports from Georgia and Tennessee of migrating flocks of sandhill cranes getting an early start.

Each spring, toward the end of March, as many as 500,000 will stop to rest and fuel up at Nebraska’s central Platte River at an 80-mile stretch of the river.

Smithsonian Magazine’s Alex Shoumatoff and wildlife photographer Melissa Groo documented their trip to Nebraska last migration season for the recent edition of Smithsonian Magazine. (CLICK to read)

The most popular place to see the sandhills on the river is the National Audubon Society’s Rowe Sanctuary in Gibbon, just outside Fort Kearney. If you can’t make the trip, you can still watch the action via Rowe Sanctuary’s live video feed.

Thousands of sandhill cranes will stop at the Platte River in Nebraska at the height of their northward migration. Photo: Melissa Groo

Thousands of sandhill cranes will stop at the Platte River in Nebraska at the height of their northward migration. Photo: Melissa Groo

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2 Comments

  1. cgull February 26, 2014 8:28 pm

    Awesome pics and great and informative Smithsonian article. There was a long lead into the Rowe Sanctuary video of the cranes;never did see them, hope to get back to it. Could those be flying whooping cranes too?-they do look different from the sandhills.

  2. Margie Tomlinson February 25, 2014 1:09 pm

    Think I see 3-4 Whoopers among them – down to just right of center bottom area?