Each spring something magical happens in the Platte River Valley. Nebraska: More than 80% (500,000+) of the world's population of Sandhill Cranes converge on this critical sliver of threatened habitat. Millions of migrating ducks and geese arrive with them.
National Geographic named this annual migration as one of North America’s two greatest natural wildlife phenomena, the other being Alaska’s Caribou migration. Designated as the #1 place in the world for bird watchers by Forbes FYI, Grand Island and Hall County are at the heart of the Central Flyway. This one-of-a-kind experience draws beginning birders to scientists from across the country and across the globe.
The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center is the hub for migration activities offering bridge and blind tours to view cranes up close, presentations, exhibits and a gift shop. The Center’s 2012 events were planned taking cues from the book and recent film The Big Year – starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wiilson. Events include book discussions, a screening of the film and a day-trip with Greg Miller, inspiration for the book and for Jack Black’s character.
The gallery in the Nature & Visitor Center showcases artists throughout the year. Prairie Winds Art Center and Stuhr Museum – one of the top living history museums in the country according to Good Housekeeping magazine – also display and sell crane-related artwork during March.
The peak of the migration occurs during the second half of March. Towards the end of March, you might also catch a glimpse of endangered Whooping Cranes or venture into the Sandhills to watch the colorful mating rituals of the Prairie Chickens.
Come dance with the cranes this March, an event that The New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places To See Before You Die calls a “must see.”
Visit Grand Island/Hall County, Nebraska for more in formation, call call 800-658-3178 or email LizG@VisitGrandIsland.com
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