- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Grand Island area is preparing for the annual migration of about 600,000 cranes through central Nebraska - and thousands of bird-gazing tourists.

Chuck Cooper is president and chief executive officer of Crane Trust, a nonprofit that works to protect crane habitat. He told The Grand Island Independent (https://bit.ly/2m0tcY8s ) that there are actually two migrations, with people coming from around the world to see the cranes.

“I can understand why people may not be interested in a crane,” Cooper said. “But 600,000 cranes is a whole different experience.”

Cooper said Crane Trust guests have included people from China, and that workers from Houston, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, are also planning to visit this year.

Anne Winkel with Rowe Sanctuary said the quantity of cranes is what makes viewing them popular in central Nebraska.

“You can see cranes in a lot of places,” Winkel said. “People are traveling from all over to see so many cranes in one spot.”

Cooper noted that at one point last year, there were 430,000 cranes on Crane Trust’s land.

Crane Trust Nature and Rowe Sanctuary will both begin offering tours this weekend. The tours last about 2 ½ hours.

The trust and sanctuary also offer tours for photographers wanting to capture photos of the cranes.


Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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