One of the cooler events I have ever witnessed. Thousands and thousands of Sandhill Cranes rise at sunrise on the Platte River in Kearney, Nebraska to head for the farms for a day of fattening up on corn before they come back to roost in the relative safety of the river at sunset. 800,000 cranes or 80% of the world's Sandhill Crane population passes through Nebraska. They stay 3-4 weeks gaining 19% body weight for their annual migration to northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. In addition to the Sandhills, there are roughly 20 million other birds migrating and passing through as well. It's truly one of the more magical migrations on earth.
It's really a sight to behold. The sounds are indescribable as wave after wave fly overhead. Many folks, especially at home here in Colorado whom I chat with, often describe Nebraska as a boring flyover state. A bit of haughtiness for sure. They can keep flying right over, but they are missing out on the splendor. I was born here. It's a place near and dear to my soul and has largely shaped me. The small towns, the true humility and salt of the earth people, the grand skies and horizons, the silence of the dark nights, the breadbasket of America, the cleanliness, the respect and connection with the earth and soil, Cornhusker football and the stunning bird annual migrations are just a few things that make this place truly special.