News & Events

The Prairie Pulse

In celebration of National Bison Day, I thought I would share some information with you about the Crane Trust Bison Herd.

Last Thursday, Crane Trust science staff and volunteers partnered with the Earl May Garden Center in Hastings to educate their staff and the public about birds and ways we can contribute to their conservation.

Last Friday, Crane Trust science staff joined several other professionals at Camp Augustine to lead classes for students from Grand Island Public School's Howard Elementary.

The Crane Trust's bison herd has been full of surprises this season starting with the birth of twins earlier this summer and now the birth of our 31st calf which was discovered on Sunday, October 7th.

For world migratory bird day we wanted to highlight the plight of grassland birds, a guild we work hard to conserve at the Crane Trust.

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated twice a year, once during the spring migration and once during the fall migration.

On Monday evening, Juniors from the Shelton Girl Scout Troop 946 came out to the Crane Trust to learn about flowers and pollinators, fulfilling requirements for nature badges.

Fall brings a special urgency to land management staff here at the Crane Trust.

The main channel of the Platte River once exceed 1.5 km wide in many locations (Figure 1, 2). However, since the late 1800s we have appropriated about 80% of its flows for human use and this has led to massive losses of in-channel habitat. #WorldRiversDay

The start of September means Small Mammal Monitoring is in full swing here at the Crane Trust.

Happy World Shorebirds Day! As part of today’s celebration of shorebirds, we would like to highlight the fantastic and fascinating Wilson’s Phalarope, a highly unusual, gender-bending shorebird that breeds in prairie wetlands, including right here at the Crane Trust!

Each spring, tens of thousands of visitors find themselves at the doorstep of the largest migration in North America and each one leaves with a unique perspective.

Update on the Crane Trust's orphaned twin bison.

The Crane Trust received a visit from a very surprising and beautiful guest! The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is a species normally found in coastal marshes along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean islands and coastlines, and the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

After much communication with the National Audubon Society, the Crane Trust has been certified as a globally important bird area (IBA) thanks to the Whooping Cranes and the huge abundance of Sandhill Cranes that visit us each year. Our ownership and easements protect 31 miles of Platte River channel…

The Crane Trust was awarded the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) and Nebraska Academy of Sciences (NAS) PIE Grant for a total of $3000 to help reconstruct the “Crane Trust Educational Greenhouse” that once existed here. This grant was one of four accepted by NAS out of the eight that applied...

Every spring, the Crane Trust is home to the overwhelming migration of over half-a-million Sandhill Cranes but this summer, on Monday, August 21st, the Crane Trust will also be home to a rare total solar eclipse. The Crane Trust has partnered with SolFest to host an eclipse viewing unlike any other….

The Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center (CTNVC) received the 2017 TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include attractions located all over the world that…

Bobolinks, Dickcissels, Grasshopper Sparrows, and other feathered songsters signal summer’s approach when they arrive on the Great Plains from their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Now, starting early each morning at the Crane Trust, we hear their uplifted voices ringing through the prairie. But there are far…

The 2017 calving season got off to an early start this year with our fist calf arriving on April 2nd. Since then, we have added 15 more. 14 from the main herd and 2 from the research herd near the Nature and…

Scarce availability of relic tallgrass prairie has had a major impact on many species of native wildlife in the Platte River…

Controlled burning has a very positive and interesting impact on prairie ecosystems. Before the advent of roads and agricultural infrastructure lighting strikes would have often cause fires that ran across the prairie, being halted only by…

Given low cloud ceilings and morning fog we missed week 7 of surveys this year. However, we squeaked out week 8; this past Tuesday morning we were up before sunrise and completed a count. We counted 117,000 Sandhill Cranes with a relative…

Our aerial count for this week are 208,600, with an absolute error of +/-12.9%. We had a mechanical malfunction on the plane before takeoff and had to change a light. This set us back about 20 minutes in terms of start time; this…

Our aerial count for this week was 404,000, with an absolute error of +/-8.6%. It was cold and bumpy this week, but better conditions for counting than the last. Overcast skies delayed the start and we had a number of birds in the…

Our aerial count for this Wednesday morning was 406,000, with an absolute error of +/-13.5%. We had a strong tail wind this morning and flew the route at a significantly faster pace than usual, forcing us to count a large number of…

Our aerial count for this week was 194,825 Sandhill Cranes (Relative Error: -7.3%; so our reported number is likely a little bit low). SACRs were present in survey bridge segment one (Chapman, NE) to segment 8 just east of Kearney, NE. Cranes were…

Our aerial count this week was 66,000 Sandhill Cranes (Absolute Error +/- 7.1%). SACRs were present in survey bridge segments 1, 3, and 4 in large roosts with the vast majority off of Mormon Island at the Crane Trust. We also detected a…

The Crane Trust is back to flying the 90 mile route from Chapman, NE to Overton, NE. Our aerial count for the morning of Monday, February 13th, was 8,146 Sandhill Cranes. These were almost exclusively in bridge segment three (of eleven) from HWY 281…