We have a unique opportunity each spring in Nebraska to watch first-hand the migration of the Sandhill Cranes. As many as 500,000 cranes stay for weeks along a stretch of the Platte River around Grand Island and Kearney. I was on a hosted crane watch a couple years back and wanted to visit again. With an open schedule, I could check weather conditions to make the trip tolerable, and a couple weeks ago I headed out, alone this time.
Thanks to the help from a couple other photographers, I had suggestions on where to watch the cranes in the evening, and where to head out in the morning. I arrived mid-afternoon and scouted out the evening/morning locations all the while photographing cranes in the fields.
I headed to the evening spot as sunset approached and watch the cranes return to the river for the night. In the open, as I was, it is hard to get close to the cranes, but you can certainly see and hear them in the distance. The sunset was spectacular.
Before dawn, I headed to the morning spot. As I left my car, the sound of the cranes overhead was incredible. I couldn't see them, but hundreds of cranes were flying directly over my head. For the next hour, as the sun came up, the sky was filled with the sights and sounds of the birds leaving their resting spot and heading to the fields for the day.
After getting some sun rise shots, I found a spot near a river where some late risers were getting ready for the day, and I had chance to watch them take off and head past me to the fields. The gallery below has some images I took (click on the image to scroll through the gallery) before I headed back to the city.