ALDA, Neb. (KETV) — One of nature’s wonders is taking place in central Nebraska.
Sharon Fisher got a front row seat to the annual Sandhill Crane migration Wednesday morning.
“It’s phenomenal to know what these birds are doing and to be able to be this close and experience it,” Fisher said.
The 70-year-old Virginia woman was hidden in Crane Trust blind along the Platte River near Alda as the sun came up. This is her third trip to this special place where tens of thousands of cranes come to roost, rest and fuel up on their long journey north. One flock was just 25 yards away from the blind.
“I’ve seen all sorts of different crane behavior, everything from dancing to going up in the air with some an object and throwing it,” Fisher said.
The migration never gets old for Dave Baasch, a threatened and endangered species specialist with the Crane Trust.
“It just puts you in awe. I mean, it’s just an amazing sight to see,” Baasch said.
He estimated upward of 500,000 cranes in the Platte River Valley including a couple of whooping cranes.
“It has definitely picked up in the last week or two. And and we’re hitting about peak numbers now,” Baasch said.
Baasch said it’s also good to see crane watchers flock back after the pandemic shut down much the tourist trade for two years.
“The roads are full of people, the blinds are full of people. The visitors center has been very busy,” Baasch said.
Fisher said its a privilege to experience nature this close.
“I get hope. I get inspiration. I feel inspired,” Fisher said.
She hopes this habitat will be supported and protected so future generations can experience this wonder as well.
“I feel like we have an obligation to be able to preserve it for every generation that comes after us,” Fisher said.
There are still about three more weeks before the crane migration tapers off in Nebraska.