. The cranes roost in the very shallow water of the Platt and at dawn fly out to feed in the corn fields that line the river banks. At dusk they return to the river. The cranes will stay here on the Platt for 3 to 4 weeks and fatten up. Their finial destination is the arctic nesting regions stretching from Hudson's Bay on the east to Siberia on the west. Once they leave the Platt they will not feed again until they reach the arctic. The week we were there over 300,000 Sandhill Cranes were on the river. The noise at fly out and fly in was indescribable.
These very beautiful birds stand 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall with a very noticeable red patch on their heads. Fossil evidence indicates that the cranes have been stopping here for thousands of years.
Sandhill Cranes mate for life and preform a very unusual "dance" which strengthens their bond.
The annual spring migration of the Sandhill Cranes through this narrow area of the Platt River has been called one of the wonders of the natural world comparable to the wildebeest migration on the Serengeti. This is a spectacle that can be seen at no other place.