LINCOLN, Neb. It is peak season for viewing the cranes in the Grand Island area, Alda, Nebraska.
The cranes come to this area during migration season, which begins mid-February and continues through mid-April. Mid-March is when the Crane Trust Nature center explains, you see "peak numbers."
The Platte River Valley is a pivotal stopping point for the cranes as it is a time when they can find a mate and also consume nutrients.
Brice Krohn the Director of the Crane Trust Nature Center says the cranes gain considerable weight. "About 20 percent of their body weight," said Krohn.
The Crane Trust Nature Center is a non-profit organization that seeks to protect and enhance the critical habitat of the cranes and other water birds.
This time of year is very busy for them as volunteers there give tours to bird watchers and tourists who come from near and far to see these animals.
"People can expect to see a beautiful Platte River along with numerous cranes and great sunrises and sunsets, and other wildlife in the area. People arrive early in the morning and go on tours and also walk our trail system, view our bison and become very informed on everything else in the big bend region of the Platte River," said Krohn.
The Crane Trust Center relies on volunteers and donations to continue giving tours to those who want to see these birds. They're holding a fundraiser on Sunday March 29 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 6611 W Whooping Crane Drive, in Wood River, NE.
Tickets are $30.00 per person and includes a meal and live music along the river. It's events like these that continue to support the center's work.
Tours of the Sandhill Cranes will go through Saturday, April 5. If you would like to hear more about the different kinds of cranes or their migration pattern, please watch the videos above.
If you would like to sign up for a tour, the Crane Trust's website is linked above as well and their address is on the website.