Each spring the most incredible migration event in the world passes through the North Platte, Nebraska area. More than 200,000 Sandhill Cranes will spend about six weeks in the Platte River valley fortifying themselves for the nesting period to come. While they are here, they will engage in beautiful courtship and pair-bonding behaviors.
Courting cranes are magnificent as they stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance. Parents will dance with their chicks for the entire first year of their lives. Juvenile Sandhill Cranes will use the complex dance steps they learned to select a mate when they are two to five years old. They will mate for life, though continue to show their affection to their mates each spring with their dancing prowess. The energies and, dare we say emotions, released during the dancing rituals are essential to successful breeding.
These graceful, exuberant rituals can best be observed while the Sandhill Cranes are in the feeding and loafing grounds, which are the meadows and crop fields within five miles from the river.
While on the tour, you will be treated to information about the Sandhill Cranes, their migration and behaviors you may observe in the fields.
The transportation for the tours is a converted school bus that will be warm and dry and afford elevated visibility for Crane viewing. You will be supplied with a welcome bag including a snack and a water bottle. Some binoculars will be available to share.
For more information on experiencing the Sandhill Crane Migration in the North Platte area, contact the Visitors Bureau at 800-955-4528.
Click this link to download the Sandhill Crane viewing guide. 2020 Sandhill Crane Viewing Guide