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Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)

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Leaping with Sandhill Cranes

With a graceful leap, wings outstretched, Sandhill Cranes welcome the longer days. The stately cranes are courting, renewing an annual dance they perform in earnest as the days lengthen into spring. Sandhill Crane pairs remain together for life, and their spirited dance plays an essential role in... read more »

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Cranes Bring Economic Benefit to the Platte

Every March, Sandhill Cranes return to the Platte River in Nebraska, on their way to nesting grounds in coastal Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia. Birdwatchers come from all over and contribute mightily to the state's economy - as much as $30 million per year. In addition to being of intrinsic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Sandhill Cranes - Interview with Hank Lentfer

Hank Lentfer, author and lifelong Alaskan, helped establish a 4,000-acre refuge for Sandhill Cranes—the Gustavus Forelands Preserve. Today, some 20,000 Sandhill Cranes use the preserve to rest and refuel. Along the way, they've helped Hank make his own journey—one from despair to hope. "It's easy... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Birds and Bird Conservation Matter - Interview with David Yarnold

We asked David Yarnold, President of National Audubon, why bird conservation matters. He says that preserving wild places and preserving the links in nature's chains allow wildlife to thrive. Where birds thrive, you're going to have clean water and clean air, and that's good for kids, and it's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Rainwater Basin

For 20,000 years, spring rains and melting snow have filled the playas of the Rainwater Basin of south-central Nebraska. As winter ends, ten million waterfowl rest and feed here before continuing north. The seasonal wetlands form a funnel for birds heading from the Gulf Coast and points south to... read more »

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Sandhill Cranes Wait Out the Storm

At the fall equinox, gillnetter Misha Noonan would often get stuck at the far east end of the Copper River Delta, waiting out the storms. Once the storms were so unrelenting, that not only were fishermen unable to return to Cordova, but Sandhill Cranes were unable to proceed with their southeast... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Bosque del Apache, High Desert Oasis

At this time of year, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is a birder's paradise. The refuge — critical wintering habitat for great numbers of birds — sits where the north edge of the Chihuahuan desert meets the Rio Grande River. Witness the magnificent spectacle of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

The Platte River Crane Plane

Every day between early October and early November, two planes fly over the Platte River in Central Nebraska. The flight crews are searching for endangered Whooping Cranes, like the one pictured here with Sandhill Cranes. If Whooping Cranes are spotted, a ground crew monitors the birds’ behavior... read more »

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