Crane Adventures 2019

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Well the weather this year definitely threw everything it could at the state of Nebraska during the height of the crane migration but we managed to still fit in a trip, albeit a tricky one with closed roads, flooded rivers, and wildly muddy gravel roads.

But it was all worth it for the chance to stay in an overnight blind on an island in the middle of the Platte river with 50+ Thousand Sandhill Cranes

We arrived in the blind around 5:45 after a lengthy walk through the river due to collapsing river banks and water far higher than the normal but shortly after our arrival the cranes started to flood into their nightly roost - seeming to fill up ever available space and leaving us wondering how they could possibly fit any more - but they just kept coming, for the next 3 hours the sky was filled with what seemed to be an endless supply of sandhill cranes all coming back to their roost.

As the last of the sunlight was fading I again peaked out the windows of the pitch black blind and seen that so many had arrived they were now standing about 25 yards from us; and now our only task was to get some rest and await the sunrise to get some video of them.

I slept very little as they cranes went through numerous periods of chatter and silence but first light revealed that they had all stayed put and as the limited sunlight (due to the cloud cover and rain) started to creep in we had a chance to capture a variety of images and videos of the cranes leaving the roost while the eagles soared overhead and the mergansers cruised the shoreline diving for food every couple of minutes.

Enjoy.

Roosting at sunrise
Sandhill crane roost
Sandhill Crane Roost
Cranes at sunrise
Cranes at sunrise
Cranes over the nebraska landscape
Cranes over Nebraska
Distant Cranes
Distant Cranes Leaving The Roost
Cranes fighting
Crane Talks
Preening Cranes
Preening Cranes
Mergansers
Common Mergansers

Bill Van der Hagen

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