• Wings Over the Platte River
    Wings Over the Platte River

    We call the celebration of the Sandhill Cranes' annual Spring Migration Wings Over the Platte.

  • Add it to your bucket list
    Add it to your bucket list

    People from all over Nebraska, the United States and the world visit the Grand Island area to be a part of this phenomenon.

  • Meet the cranes up close
    Meet the cranes up close

    The best opportunities to see the cranes are on the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center's blind tours. This is a unique slow exposure taken at night.

  • A community-wide celebration
    A community-wide celebration

    Activities to celebrate the annual arrival of the cranes go beyond the banks of the river. Here, long-time Grand Island resident Rilley Nielsen carves crane sculptures out of wood.

  • Artwork to celebrate cranes
    Artwork to celebrate cranes

    Many artists in the region are inspired by the Spring Migration of the Sandhill Cranes. Galleries feature works every March inspired by nature and wildlife in Nebraska.

A celebration of living dinosaurs

Wings Over the Platte is Grand Island's celebration of the return of the Sandhill Cranes every Spring.

The celebration is marked with events, lectures, workshops, and art shows. Visitors will want to make the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center their headquarters. Schedule a tour in a viewing blind while you're out there. Roger Tory Peterson, foremost authority on birds, has written that "Neither the hordes of Demoiselle Cranes on the Nile of the great flocks of European Cranes at Oland in the Baltic can match the spectacle of the Sandhill Cranes, 500,000 strong, which use the Platte River as a staging area each March."

Artwork specific to the spring migration can be found at Stuhr Museum's Wings Over the Platte exhibit, Prairie Winds Art Center's Spirit of the Cranes exhibit, and in the gallery at the nature center itself. The nature center schedules lectures by noted authorities on birding, and often extends the celebration with things such as wine tastings and film screenings.

Wings Over the Platte is a must for bird watchers, and even for those who wouldn't consider themselves birders!