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My first glimpse into the Crane Trust!

Hello everyone!

My name is Amanda Medaries. Born and raised in a small town in north Louisiana, I am now a graduate student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I received a Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation bachelor’s degree at Arkansas State University – Jonesboro in 2019.

I am beyond excited to be a part of the Crane Trust team as the new Saunders Conservation fellow and to share my journey with all of you! This fellowship will allow me to be a part of so many of the research projects at the Crane Trust, such as their avian point counts, anuran call surveys, bison biometric and health research, butterfly species of concern surveys, Whooping Crane behavioral monitoring, slough fish surveys, vegetation surveys, and small mammal trapping, just to name a few!


While I am excited to be a part of all of these projects, as a bird nerd, I am most excited about getting to see and hear all of the amazing avian species that migrate and/or breed in this part of Nebraska! Starting today be sure to keep on the lookout for new posts by me every Friday on social media and every other Friday on here. I will not only post about my experience at the Crane Trust, but will also share the ‘behind the scenes’ of all the incredible research that takes place here! This first post is just to get to know a little about me and includes some of my ‘first glimpses’ into the adventurous world of the Crane Trust! These first glimpses include an avian migration survey, an anuran call survey, and a Greater Prairie-Chicken survey! Both the avian migration survey and the anuran call survey allowed me to get familiar with some of the species that I did not know were around in Nebraska! Some of these included the great crested flycatcher, rose-breasted grosbeak, Harris’s sparrow, clay-colored sparrow, and the Cope’s grey treefrog. The Greater Prairie-Chicken survey left me in awe as I watched the males ‘boom’ and strut their stuff in hopes for a female! Learn more about why these surveys are important to the Crane Trust’s mission of conserving and maintaining the Big Bend Reach of the Platte River here: and don’t forget to check out any of the publications the Crane Trust team has completed regarding the results of the surveys here: 

I look forward to sharing more of this life-changing experience with you all for the rest of the year. See you next time! 


Amanda Medaries 

(All pictures were taken by Amanda. First to last: Tree swallow, American goldfinch, Baltimore oriole, Orchard oriole, Yellow warbler, Eastern Meadowlark, Red-headed woodpecker, Song sparrow, and American bison)