Nebraska’s Great Crane Migration – A Different Type of March Madness
Often referred to as a “flyover” state, the only thing that should be flying over Nebraska is the birds. Every March/early April, more than 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes (600,000+ birds) converge on the Platte River Valley in Central Nebraska – the world’s largest gathering of one of the oldest living species (dating back to the dinosaurs) and one of the last great animal migrations. Marking the beginning of Nebraska’s Marsh Madness, visitors flock to the state for its game and bird conservation efforts alike.
The special viewing blinds at Crane Trust and the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary provide a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the birds without disrupting their natural migratory pattern.
Sandhill cranes are not the only spectacle; it’s a birder’s paradise with bald eagles, whopping cranes and a haven for a number of other endangered species in addition to prairie chickens where dancing is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle.
Whether you’re gearing up to join the countless other feathered friends or if you’re following along from afar, it’s time to fill out that bracket — Marsh Madness is finally here!