THE 44th ANNUAL
RIVERS AND WILDLIFE CELEBRATION
Nebraska’s Crane Festival
For information on future festivals, call Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center, (402) 797-2301, or e-mail Audubon Nebraska. For information on viewing the sandhill crane migration, call Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary, (308) 468-5282.
Audubon Nebraska puts on this celebration of migration, featuring the largest concentration of sandhill cranes in the world. Over 500,000 cranes plus millions of snow geese and other waterfowl stop over in central Nebraska each spring.
Can’t wait to see the cranes? View the Rowe Sanctuary Crane Cam, which is active from mid-February to early April.
History: One of the nation’s longest-running wildlife festivals, the RWC began in 1971 in Grand Island as the “Spring River Conference” to raise awareness for the Platte River and its importance to the spring bird migration. It was geared for advocacy at the time and resulted in the formation of the Big Bend Audubon Society. The festival moved to Kearney when Rowe Sanctuary was purchased in 1974. Current festivals focus on wildlife and environment education in general, with family-friendly activities and famous field trips to crane blinds along the Platte River and bird migration stopovers in central and southern Nebraska. Roger Tory Peterson, Julie Zickefoose, Bruce Babbitt, and Jane Goodall are some of the well-known attendees from past celebrations.