Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rowe Sanctuary

 Crane Blind
At the beginning of April I decided to take a short trip down to Nebraska to see the sandhill cranes. I had already been offered a job but since it took a while for the background check, drug test and all of the paper work to go through I decided it was the perfect time to head down to the Rowe Sanctuary. It had been many years since I last visited the sanctuary, I was still shooting film at the time, and typically the timing never seemed to work out. Either we were vacationing down south in late winter or we were heading to Yellowstone in May, either way it would be difficult to get away so close to another vacation. Since I was not starting work for another week I decided it would be a perfect time to go. 
Sandhill Cranes Dancing
The Rowe Sanctuary is an Audubon sanctuary located in central Nebraska. It consists of 1900 acres of river channel, wet meadows and agricultural land along the Platte River. It is named for Lillian Annette Rowe who financed teh initial purchase of 782 acres back in 1974 to help protect the habitat for migrating cranes.
Whooping Cranes in Flight
 It is necessary to protect this part of the Platte River because it is the main resting spot for cranes migrating back north across the central flyway. Each year approximately 600,000 or more cranes stop at the Platte between mid February and mid April. This includes about 80% of the worlds population of lesser sandhill cranes. It also includes a good number of greater sandhill cranes and many other birds. The weekend I was there we saw a pair of endangered whooping cranes mixed in with the sandhills.
Cranes At Sunset
The reason why they stop at this location is because the Platte is a shallow river with many sandbars. During the day the cranes venture through the bordering fields eating any left over grains. Since cranes do not have feet that allow them to perch in trees they spend the night standing in the shallow water of the Platte. The shallow waters act as an alarm to let them know if an terrestrial predators may be around. Each morning the cranes rise up from the river giving visitors a spectacular show only to return each night for an encore.


23 comments:

G. W. Bill Miller said...

Spectacular. Your blog just gets better and better.

Karen said...

Nice looking birds, and that last shot is gorgeous!

Mama Zen said...

These are stunning.

Nette Cecilia said...

Lovley birdshots ,Nette

janiceadcock said...

Wonderful set of shots of these magnificent birds.

Roger Owen Green said...

You are a real supporter of nature!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Margaret Adamson said...

Well that trip was well worth while. Love the hide but your shots are magnificent.

Carole M. said...

wow, loved this post. Well done on your job interview and job start ...and for fitting in this wonderful opportunity to view the Sandhill Cranes

Christian WeiƟ said...

Sounds like a fascinating place, great shots and capture.

Karen said...

The colours of the sky in the last shot are fabulous, wonderful series of photo's.

ladyfi said...

Wow - that last shot is stunning!!!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

The last photo is truly incredible!!

Barb said...

Glad you could take this trip and see these beautiful birds. You caught some splendid shots of them in flight. Good Luck with your new job!

s.c said...

Great bird shots and also a great sky shot. Terrific.

Pearl Maple said...

great photos that is a fabulous venue for getting up close with nature at play

Stewart M said...

That final shot is remarkable. What a sight.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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