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Sandhill Crane Counts 2019 - Week 2

On 24 February 2019, we detected 17,400+3,097 Sandhill Cranes in two nearby roosts between HWY 281 and Alda Rd. The Sandhill Cranes were again roosting on solid ice as the river was totally frozen aside from the deeper parts of the channel, particularly from Minden (HWY 10) east to Chapman, NE. There was more open water west of Minden to Overton, NE. We did not detect any Trumpeter Swans on the river this week, but it appeared that the number of Bald Eagles (21) and Canada Geese (3,600) were up a bit over last week. The focus of our surveys is Sandhill Cranes, but in the absence of large numbers of Sandhill Cranes we try to note additional large bodied birds using the Platte River. However, these counts are very course and do not systematically survey off-channel habitats (Sandpits, etc.) often used by these species. We again noted a few ice jams in the western part of our survey area.