So I’m here at a big ornithological meeting that brought three societies together for several days of scientific talks, posters, workshops, and plenary lectures. Everything’s been great – high quality and thought-provoking research presentations, potential research collaborations, people working together most agreeably to invest their time in the business of societies that publish journals, sponsor these wonderful meetings, and provide money to researchers to support their work.
Why Kearney, Nebraska – in March – you ask? It’s estimated that 2 million Snow Geese and 700,000 Sandhill Cranes stage here for several weeks each spring. You go outside, there will be big flocks of big birds, all day long. The cranes are a particular draw as they fan out by day to feed in agricultural fields and return to roost on the Platte River each night.
Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary hosts guided tours to blinds along the Platte River where visitors can experience cranes up close and in abundance. Here’s the view from inside one of their blinds:
Last night, our blind had 34 people.