The Platte River area around Grand Island is one of the primary stopping points for Sandhill Cranes as they migrate from their winter homes in Central and South America to their summer habitat in southern Canada each spring. The migration is a spectacle that draws bird lovers and tourists from all over the world to Grand Island.
At peak, half a million cranes are packed into a 60 mile stretch along the Platte River known as the "Big Bend" region.
The Platte River Basin is the only ecosystem along the crane migration route that meets all of their requirements for roosting, resting, and restoring themselves.
80% of the total sandhill crane population uses the Platte and North Platte Rivers during both fall and spring migration.
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