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Lift off at sunrise..

 

The Platte River in Nebraska is a major stopping point for the Lesser & Greater Sandhill Cranes. There is aprox. 500,000 cranes who make this yearly visit.

While in Nebraska the cranes will consume about 1.6 tons of leftover corn from the last harvest. After adding about a pound of body weight the cranes will continue migrating north as far as Siberia to nest.

Sandhill Cranes will lay 2 eggs. The first egg to hatch is taking away by the father from the nest during feeding other wise it would kill the second baby.

Every evening the cranes return to the river. The river has to be suitable for cranes. It must consist of no brush or weeds and lots of sand bars. The cranes prefer 6" to 18" of water to roost for the evening. The water acts as a alarm system, alerting them when predators are trying to sneak up. Every morning after sunrise they fly back out to the fields to feed.

 

Sandhill Cranes Migration 2012

 

Rowe Sanctuary - Gibbons, Nebraska

  

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Taken on April 1, 2012