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Thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrating through Nebraska

Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 14:00:00-05

KEARNEY, Neb. (KMTV) — It's that time of year where thousands of Sandhill Cranes make a pit stop in Nebraska before continuing their migration north.

People from around the world come to Central Nebraska to witnesses the event. Our own Kent Luetzen recently had a chance to see the Sandhill migration firsthand.

The cranes are building up food storage before the second half of their trip.

Experts tell us roughly 80% of the world's Sandhill Crane population travels from the south, through Nebraska and up into Canada over the next two months.

The Sandhill Cranes are doing well in population, but flooded rivers and power lines are some of their biggest threats.

The birds sleep on sand bars at night and fly out into fields during the day.

If you want to see the cranes yourself, there are different ways to watch the birds up close.

In North Platte, there's the business Dusty Trails which is offering Sandhill Crane bus tours. It's already full for the weekend of the 26th and 27th at a cost of $40 per person.

In Kearney, there's the Rowe Sanctuary where you can rent a blind for $20 to $40 or you can get a guided tour for $100.

The Audubon Center at the Rowe Sanctuary is also hosting a virtual crane event on Tuesday nights so you can enjoy the cranes from your own home.

Some areas are not offering tours due to the pandemic. Those that are offering tours require masks and social distancing.

Crane season tour dates run through April 11.

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