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NATURE

Signs of Spring

March 21st, 2014

Sandhill cranes in flight. Image via bigstockphoto.com

The sandhill crane migration is considered one of the greatest wildlife shows in North America. And it’s happening right now.

About half a million sandhill cranes stop over in the Kearney, Nebraska area each spring. It’s the largest concentration of them in the world — about 80% of the world’s population of these amazing birds, according to cranetrust.org .

They spend a few weeks hanging out on the sandbars of the Platte River loading up on food, rest, and fun. It looks like a big party (you should see them dance in the video below)! Then they head off north to breed (and also to somewhere cooler for the summer). Some continue on as far away as Siberia!

Courtesy of cranetrust.org

They’ve been making this trip to Nebraska for thousands of years. There are even fossils from prehistoric cranes here from 10 million years ago!

There’s some great information on this amazing event and the cranes at  cranetrust.org . And a great story about it below:

(apologies for any commercials in NBC News’ video)

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