Cranes Late

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Michelle Parde, a naturalist at Crane Meadows Nature Center north of Juniata, said she hasn't seen any Sandhill cranes yet this year, and hasn't heard of anyone else who has either.

Parde said the cranes are likely trying to stay away from Nebraska's cold snap. She said they are attempting to stay on the edge of winter.

Cranes spend the winter far south of Nebraska, in central Mexico, Texas, New Mexico and as far north as Oklahoma.

They use the Platte River in central Nebraska as a place to rest and regroup for a couple of weeks on their way north to Alaska, Canada and even Siberia.

The 500,000 cranes usually start arriving in the middle of February, often after Valentine's Day. The numbers peak around the middle of March, and the cranes usually leave by mid-April.