The Parks and Recreation Department invites the public to register for the Pioneers Park Nature Center's tour of the Sandhill Crane migration. The tour begins at noon Friday, March 10 at the Auld Recreation Center in Antelope Park and will return to that location about 10:30 p.m. To register, contact the Nature Center at 402-441-7895 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The registration deadline is February 10 and space on the trip is limited.
The cost is $85 per person and includes transportation, dinner and a viewing blind reservation. The $25 blind reservation portion of the fee is non-refundable if the trip is cancelled or if a participant cancels and a replacement cannot be found.
The trip begins by traveling to the Crane Trust's Nature and Visitor Center in Wood River, followed by dinner at Burchell's White Hill Farmhouse. The tour continues to the Ian Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary in Gibbon to view a short presentation and view the cranes as they arrive on the Platte River. The trip also includes roadside stops to watch cranes as they feed and dance in the fields.
For thousands of years Sandhill Cranes have used the central Platte River valley for their stopover grounds. Cranes will spend up to five weeks in Nebraska preparing for their journey north. The cranes come from as far south as Mexico and will travel as far north as eastern Siberia to raise their young. Over half a million Sandhill Cranes will make their way through Nebraska this spring. Some of the best viewing is at sunset when the cranes flock by the thousands to spend the night at the river.
For more information about the Nature Center, visit parks.lincoln.ne.gov/naturecenter.