Cranes are in our backyard right now

The spectacle is here and it is delighting viewers from all over the U.S. and abroad.

Sandhill cranes in the hundreds of thousands are swarming the Platte River from Grand Island to Kearney right now. The sight of the birds and overpowering sound as they trill in mass are mesmerizing.

Termed the largest animal migration on the planet, sandhill cranes numbering half a million stop to fatten up and rest on their grueling journey from as far as Central America to nesting grounds, in some cases, above the Arctic Circle, Canada and Siberia.

They eat and rest, but also dance and play in plain view along rural roads just a few miles west of York. A great deal of information is available from the Crane Trust at the Alda exchange on I-80, the Rowe Sanctuary south of Gibbon, online or from the writer (


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