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The Prairie Pulse

SANDHILL CRANE COUNTS – WEEK 7

The total SACR Aerial count for the Big Bend of the Platte was 112,000down from a peak count of 413,000 on March 14th and a count of 276,000 last week on March 21st. Today was a good migration day with warm weather and winds out of the south so we will see what next week brings. I have two more weeks of surveys. The absolute percent error for today’s surveys across six photo sub-plots recounted in the office was +/-12.5% meaning the average count via photo was 12.5% different from the field aerial estimate (not considering directionality of error). Most of the time this number is between 5 and 13% on our surveys. This is actually my highest error of the year because they were in looser patterns today. We also spotted 230 American White Pelicans on the River today, with more on the western half of the survey. We had about 20,000 birds on the Crane Trust property, mostly off Mormon Island and nearly 4,000 in front of the blinds off Shoemaker Island.