Wayside Films

Sandhill Cranes

Each spring during their annual migration, the Sandhill Cranes settle in for a few weeks in the Platte River valley of central Nebraska near the confluence of the South and North forks. Hundreds of thousands of these large and noisy birds spend their days roosting and scavenging in the chopped-down cornfields, and as dusk nears, they alight in great flocks to return to the safety of the sand bars in the great river and roost for the night. Life on the farm goes on undisturbed amid the squawks, honks and screeches of the massive sedges, and the squatting hordes that clutter the cornfields move freely about the broad and spare winter landscape. There’s a beautiful natural rhythm and ritual in the migration that is woven into this community and has shaped the coming of spring here for generations.

The Cranes Alighting at Sunrise
The Cranes Roosting in a Windy Cornfield

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