Between February and early April, some 600,000 Sand Hill Cranes take a break from their northward migration between Mexico and Alaska—the largest mass migration on earth—along an 80-mile stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska. It’s awesome to witness—both in sight and sound. During the day, these red-headed, 4 foot tall birds feast in large groups on the harvested cornfields to fatten up for the long journey north.
They feast during the day and return to the shallows of the Platte River at sunset, where they are safe from predators. Just before and after sunrise they take flight in communities and head out for the day’s work.
These images are from two separate trips to Nebraska in March and early April 2021.