Sandhill Crane Capital of the World – Kearney, Nebraska

(March 25-27, 2017)

Sandhill cranes near Kearney, Nebraska

Each spring, more than 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes converges in Central Nebraska. Over 500,000 sandhill cranes migrate through the Platte River Valley in order to fuel up before heading further north to their breeding grounds. Along with them come millions of migrating ducks and geese in the neighboring Rainwater Basin—covering the vast expanse of open sky with millions of flapping wings and a chorus of calls. Get ready for an unforgettable road trip to the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World!


Below are some of our sample itineraries, but note that we can customize the perfect United States adventure that meets your needs.



DAY 1 (Sat, March 25): Denver to Kearney ~ Morning carpool departure from Denver for drive to Kearney, Nebraska with birding en route. Overnight at Hampton Inn or similar. (PL)

Sandhill cranes at sunrise - Kearney, Nebraska

DAY 2 (Sun, March 26): Kearney ~ Your day begins before dawn as you head to Rowe Sanctuary along the Platte River in time to watch sandhill cranes depart their evening roosts during a blind session. Rowe Sanctuary’s viewing blinds are strategically located along the Platte River to provide excellent views of cranes. You have the day to bird local hotspots including Fort Kearny State Park, Rowe Sanctuary, and Cottonmill Park before another blind session at Rowe Sanctuary this evening. Overnight at Hampton Inn or similar. (B,L)

Sandhill cranes - 2011

DAY 3 (Mon, March 27): Kearney to Denver ~ Optional early morning wake up call – leave the hotel before dawn and head to a public observation area along the Platte River in time to see thousands of sandhill cranes fly from their evening roost to feed in the fields nearby. Back to the hotel for breakfast and check out. Depart for Denver with birding stops en route. (B, L)

Sunrise wildlife observation - Platte River, Nebraska



Meals: B=Breakfast; PL=picnic lunch; L=Lunch

 Package price: $495 based upon double occupancy. Single supplement: $165.

Price includes accommodations, guided birding with spotting scopes available, entrance fees, activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary.

Exclusions: fuel (to be split among participants carpooling from Denver) and meals not listed.