Landing at Sunset
Sandhill Cranes gather on the Platte River during their annual migration.
I took my 8-year-old daughter, who loves both animals and photography, with me to watch the Sandhill Crane migration this year. 500,000 4-foot-tall birds stop in central Nebraska for six weeks each year en route from Mexico to Siberia. They spend their days foraging for food in cornfields near the river, but at night, they seek shelter from animals on the wide, clear sandbars of the Platte River. It's quite a sight to see 10,000 squawking birds in one spot. Better yet, they all land and take off at roughly the same time each sunset and sunrise. It's only a two hour drive from our house, so we made it into a 24 hour camping trip. I captured this shot from an old railroad (now hike+bike) bridge in Ft. Kearney State Rec Area.
This shot won second place at the 2010 Nebraska State Fair photography competition.