Audubon Nebraska's Crane Festival

Sandhill Cranes. Photo: Madeline Poster.

Audubon Nebraska's 50th Crane Festival!

Join us for our 50th Crane Festival on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, 2020! On-line registration will begin at 9:00 am CST on Monday, December 9. Registration will include Saturday meals, access to all speakers and a free t-shirt. Student and child discounts available. 

Registration: $150/adult; $60/student (high school and above); $20/child. Prices will increase $10 on March 1, 2020.

Festival registration does not include field trip fees. Trips are purchased separately and are only open to people who register for the festival.

Hotel rooms will fill up fast - reserve yours early! Rooms are not part of festival registration; attendees must make their own lodging arrangements.

All field trips will leave from and return to the west entrance of the Holiday Inn. 

Reserve Your Hotel Room Today!

Festival HQ: Holiday Inn and Convention Center, 110 2nd Avenue Kearney, NE  68848  (308) 237-5971

A block of rooms is being held exclusively for Audubon Nebraska at a discounted group rate of $109.95 per room, per night, plus tax for March 19, 20 & 21, 2020.  (If the Holiday Inn is booked, this rate will also be available at the La Quinta Inn and the Comfort Inn.) This block of rooms is being held until February 18, 2020, and will be subject to availability after that date.

To make your room reservations, call the phone number above and state you are attending the Audubon's Nebraska Crane Festival. 



Friday, March 20

5:15 am-9:30 am - Morning Rowe Sanctuary Crane Viewing

11:00 am-3:00 pm - Crane Trust Field Trip

2:00 pm-7:00 pm - Registration at Festival Booth in the Holiday Inn

3:00 pm (Returning Saturday at 12:00 noon) - Greater Prairie Chicken Calamus Outfitters Field Trip

4:00 pm (Returning Saturday at 12:00 noon) - Prairie Chicken Dance Tours Field Trip

5:00 pm-9:00 pm - Evening Rowe Sanctuary Crane Viewing

Saturday, March 21

5:15–9:00 am - Morning Rowe Sanctuary Crane Viewing Field Trip

8:00 am 7:00 pm - Registration at Holiday Inn

8:00 am–5:00 pm - Vendor Displays at Holiday Inn

9:30-10:30 - Group Breakfast

10:30-11:00 - Welcome 

11:00 am - Keynote Speaker

12:30-1:30 pm - Luncheon

Concurrent Sessions


"Crane Behavior Basics" Pamela Bergmann

"Whooping Crane Stopover Stay Length in Relation to Diurnal Habitat and Nocturnal Roost Site" - Andy Caven


"'Only' Threatened? Update on the Whooping Crane Reintroduction" - Anne Lacey

"Conservation Ranching" - Andrew Pierson


"Cranes of the World" - Sandra Noll and Erv Nichols

"Habitat Changes at Rowe Sanctuary" - Cody Wagner

3:00-3:30 - Break


"Plants for Birds PRO" - Jason "The Birdnerd" St. Sauver

"The Ribbon of Life: New Mexico's Strategy for the Rio Grande" - Paul Tashjian and Amy Erickson


"Survival by Degrees" - Chad Wilsey

"Corn and Cranes: 150 years of Change in the Platte River Valley" - Larkin Powell


"Cranes, Cottonwoods and Connections to Rivers" - Mary Harner

6:00-7:00 - Social Hour

7:00–8:00 - Banquet

8:00-9:00 - Banquet Speaker - George Archibald: "How Climate Change Threatens Cranes Worldwide"

If you can’t make the festival but still want to see the Sandhill Cranes, check out Rowe Sanctuary's website, to learn about more crane viewing options.

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