Platte River Talk and Talon Show This Saturday

Wood River, Neb—Rivers, raptors and sandhill cranes will come together as a natural force this Saturday, March 29, at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center for a fun and informative program for audiences of all ages. In addition to an encore performance by Fontenelle Forests' Raptor Recovery Program at 11:00 a.m., the Crane Trust is pleased to offer an engaging presentation by fish and wildlife biologist Jeff Runge on one of Nebraska's most defining natural resources—the historic Platte River.

Saturday's program is part of the Crane Trust's "Wild About Nebraska" speaker series, a public celebration of Nebraska's great sandhill crane migration. More than 500,000 sandhill cranes will descend on the Platte River in south-central Nebraska this spring for 3-4 weeks as one of the greatest wildlife phenomena in North America, before continuing on to their breeding grounds in the north. Following below is a brief overview of this Saturday's presentations. Both are open to the public and admission is free.

Saturday March 29, 2014
11:00 a.m.: "Talon Show—Nebraska's Birds of Prey" (Encore Performance)
Blake Hatfield & Vickie Orr of Fontenelle Forest's Raptor Recovery Program will demonstrate with live birds how these incredible birds of prey have adapted to become a vital part of the Nebraska landscape. Each has its own special place in the uniquely complex Platte River ecosystem. The Raptor Recovery Program will bring a live hawk, falcon, owl, and turkey vulture for the presentation and will demonstrate how each is equipped to inhabit its place atop the food chain.

Saturday March 29, 2014
1:00 p.m.: "The Platte River in Your Backyard"
Jeff Runge, fish and wildlife biologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Grand Island office, will lead a Platte River talk, putting the river's unique history, behaviors and significance in context for today's ever-changing (and increasingly demanding) environment. Runge's remarks will focus on how the river system's surrounding habitat and processes have changed over time—and what's being done to correct and help manage those changes.

Both presentations are being held at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center near Wood River in south-central Nebraska, I-80 Alda Exit 305. Before and after the presentations, visitors are invited to browse the center's art gallery and gift shop or take a short walk to see the Crane Trust's live bison exhibition herd, climb the observation tower and hike out onto the prairie. The Crane Trust's new large touchscreen communication displays, featuring the Platte Basin Time-Lapse Project and other videos, will also be on hand for visitors to experience.

Established in 1978, the Crane Trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and maintenance of critical habitat for cranes and other migratory birds along the Platte River through leading science, habitat management, community outreach, and education.

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center / 9325 S Alda Road / Wood River, NE 68883 / 308-382-1820