Crane Festival

Crane Festival Schedule of Events

Tentative schedule for 2018 festival. Some speakers and times may change as details are finalized. All speakers and concurrent sessions at Holiday Inn and Convention Center, Kearney.

* 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 (Update 1/17: Trip is full. Wait list will be taken.)

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

* 12:30-2:00 pm - Lunch - National Audubon Society: "Audubon's Plants for Birds: Plant It and They Will Come"

Audubon’s Plants for Birds program, part of its Bird-Friendly Communities conservation strategy, focuses on inspiring people to take action wherever they live, to help the birds they love. By growing native plants, everyone can do their part to help support breeding and migratory bird populations imperiled by habitat loss and climate change.

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

* 2:30-5:20 pm – Concurrent Sessions

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

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

Saturday, March 24

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

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

* 8:30-9:30 am – Breakfast

* 9:30-12:20 am – Concurrent Sessions

* 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.

* 2:30-5:20 pm – Concurrent Sessions

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

How you can help, right now