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Return to Wildlife Viewing Home PageWhere to Watch Cranes

Return to Sandhill Viewing Home Page Whooping Cranes | Whooper vs Sandhill Crane Facts |
Etiquette for Crane Watchers | Q & A | Where to watch Cranes | Crane Cam |Crane Events | Support |


The Platte River and the surrounding area provide essential food and nutrients that sustain sandhill cranes for the rest of migration and for nesting. The cranes roost in the river at night, but spend the day in fields and meadows along the river.  To view cranes during the day, drive country roads from Grand Island west within about 10 miles of the river.

Avoid flushing the birds.  Disturbances during their critical stay in Nebraska can cause the birds to leave in poor condition, jeopardizing reproductive success when they arrive on their northern nesting grounds.  Avoid disturbing the cranes at their roosting or feeding areas:

  • Do not approach cranes on foot while they are in fields. Cranes do not tolerate humans.
  • Stay in your car and use it as a blind.
  • Use appropriate locations for viewing the cranes on the river. Do not attempt to approach or otherwise disturb cranes on the river.
  • It is unlawful to flush whooping cranes – keep your distance
  • Viewing Etiquette (link to our other page

Map of Crane Viewing Area

Click on the image below to view full size map

where to watch cranes

Crane Trust Nature and Visitor’s Center near Alda
Services: Viewing blinds, gift shop, expert staff, crane-oriented activities.
Viewing Blinds: Reservations required. Please call for pricing.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Information: (308) 382-1820
Website:  http://nebraskanature.org/index.html

Rowe Sanctuary, Audubon Society near Gibbon
Services: Viewing blinds, gift shop, expert staff.
Viewing Blinds: Reservations required. Please call for pricing.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Information: (308) 468-5282
Email: kskaggs@audubon.org
Website: http://rowe.audubon.org/

Fort Kearny State Historical Park,
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission near Kearney

Services: Expert staff, river viewing site, gift shop, narrated migration program.
Photography Blinds: No charge (reservations required)
Hours: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Information: (308) 865-5305
Website:  http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/parks/guides/parksearch/showpark.asp?Area_No=97

Alda Bridge Crane Viewing Site
Location :  Hall County, 2 miles south of I-80 exit 305 on the Alda Road.
Services:  Handicap-accessible viewing platform on river bank, paved hiking trail, parking

Gibbon Bridge Crane Viewing Platform

Location:  1.5 miles south of I-80 exit 285 in Buffalo County
Services:  parking area and viewing platform
Caution: avoid standing on the bridge itself, where traffic can be quite fast.

Crane Information Centers

Kearney Visitors Center

Services: Crane viewing and visitor service information.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Information: (800) 652-9435 (in state) or (800) 227-8340 (out of state)

Grand Island Visitors Bureau
Services: Crane viewing and visitor service information.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Information: (800) 658-3178

Adams County Visitors Bureau
Services: Crane viewing and visitor service information.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
Information: (800) 967-2189

 

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