Crane Festival

Crane Festival Schedule of Events

Tentative schedule for 2018 festival. Some speakers and times may change as details are finalized. The Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney is the location for the speakers and concurrent sessions, and the west entrance of the hotel is the location for the departure and return of all field trips.

* Asterisk indicates activity is paid for with festival registration.

Thursday, March 22

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding Rowe Sanctuary

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding the Rainwater Basin

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding the Platte River

1:00 pm - Prairie Grouse Viewing Trip - Mullen (overnight stay)

4:00 pm - Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing Trip - McCook (overnight stay)

4:30- 9:00 pm - Guided Sandhill Crane Viewing Experience

Friday, March 23

5:15-9:30 am – Guided Sandhill Crane Viewing Experience

5:15 am-3:30 pm - Legends and Stories: The Changing Ecology of the Great Plains (Willa Cather/Red Cloud, Neb.)

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding Rowe Sanctuary

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding the Rainwater Basin

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding the Platte River

* 12:30-2:00 pm - Lunch - Cathy Wise, National Audubon Society: "Bird-Friendly Communities"

1:00 pm - Prairie Grouse Viewing Trip - Mullen (overnight stay)

* 2:30-3:20 pm - Concurrent Sessions

Cody Wagner, Rowe Sanctuary: "Wetlands for Communities and Schools: Successful Partnerships in Environmental Education"

Jason St. Sauver, Audubon Nebraska: "Birding by Ear" (will be repeated Saturday)

* 3:30-4:20 pm - Concurrent Sessions

Rowe Sanctuary Staff: "Crane Behavior Basics"  (will be repeated Saturday)

Jason St. Sauver, Audubon Nebraska: "eBirding and Climate Change"

4:00 pm - Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing Trip - McCook (overnight stay)

* 4:30-5:20 pm - Concurrent Sessions

Twyla Hansen, Nebraska State Poet: "Poetry from the Plains"

Mike Farrell, Platte Basin Timelapse

4:30- 9:00 pm - Guided Sandhill Crane Viewing Experience

* 6:30-7:30 pm - Social Hour (cash bar)

Saturday, March 24

5:15-9:30 am – Guided Sandhill Crane Viewing Experience

7:00 am-12:30 pm - Birding Rowe Sanctuary

* 9:00-10:00 am – Breakfast

* 10:00-10:50 am - Concurrent Sessions

Wanting Peng, Tongji University, Shanghai, China; and Univ. of So. California: "Black-necked Crane in China"

Chip Clouse, Front Range Birding Co.: "Optics 101"

Andrew Pierson, Rowe Sanctuary: "Conservation Strides at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary: A Group Approach to Integrating New Core Habitat for Cranes and Other Wildlife"

* 11:00-11:50 am - Concurrent Sessions

Anne Lacy, International Crane Foundation: "Saving An American Icon: Challenges and Successes of Reintroducing Whooping Cranes"

Patrick Farrell, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program: "Sandhill Crane Use of the Central Platte River"

Rowe Sanctuary Staff: "Crane Behavior Basics"

* 12:30-2:00 pm – Lunch - Presentation by Dr. Richard Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation: "Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation"

Explore the role of cranes as both sentinels and flagships for conservation in some of the great river basins around the world -- engaging Zambezi River water authorities in releasing environmental flows for cranes, large mammals, and human livelihoods, securing some of world’s most outstanding wetlands in the Amur-Heilong River Basin of China, Russia and Mongolia; realizing improved livelihoods from the holistic management of Mekong River wetlands; and promoting sustainable water and land management aimed at protecting critical habitat areas for Endangered Whooping Cranes on their wintering grounds in Texas.

* 2:15-3:20 pm – Concurrent Sessions

Brooke Bateman, National Audubon Society: "Climate Watch"

Justin Stokes, National Audubon Society: "Advocacy for Birds and the Places They Need”

Nopadol Paothong, Missouri Department of Conservation: "Photo Workshop"

* 3:30-4:20 pm – Concurrent Sessions

Sandra Knoll and Erv Nichols: "Cranes of the World"

Allison Holloran, Audubon Rockies: "Conservation Ranching"

Andy Caven, The Crane Trust: "Counting Cranes"

* 4:30-5:20 pm – Concurrent Sessions

Rachel Owen, University of Missouri

Dave Baasch, Platte River Recovery Implementation Program: "Whooping Crane use of the Platte River"

Jason St. Sauver, Audubon Nebraska: "Birding by Ear"

* 6:00-7:00 pm – Social (cash bar)

* 7:00-9:00 pm – Banquet - Presentation by Noppadol Paothong, photographer and author from the Missouri Department of Conservation: "Sage Grouse, Icon of the West"

Sunday, March 25

5:15-9:30 am – Guided Sandhill Crane Viewing Experience

* 9:30-10:30 am – Brunch - presentation by Bill Taddicken, Rowe Sanctuary

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