Crane Festival

2020 Field Trips

Please read departure and return times carefully, as several trips will overlap with other conference programs. All field trips will leave from and return to the west entrance of the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney. Transportation is provided for all trips. (Field trip costs are not included in festival registration.)

Guided Sandhill Crane Excursions to Rowe Sanctuary

Mornings:

Friday, March 20 - 5:15-9:30 am

Saturday, March 21 - 5:15-9:30 am

Evening:

Friday, March 20 - 5:00-9:00 pm

$60/person ($70/person after March 1)

Experience the breathtaking sights and sounds of Sandhill Cranes roosting on the Platte River at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary. After the trip to Rowe Sanctuary (transportation is provided), participants will walk to strategically placed viewing blinds to witness thousands of Sandhill Cranes on the river (for morning trips) or flying to the river (for evening trip). Walking distances to the viewing blinds range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile over relatively level but unpaved terrain, with a portion of the walk occurring during very low light conditions (well before sunrise and well after sunset). Viewing blinds have been replaced with new Discovery Stations, which are wooden structures strategically placed along the Platte River. They offer shelter from wind, rain, and snow, but are not heated and will be as cold as or colder than it is outside. Warm clothing (especially footwear) is strongly recommended.

Transportation is provided. If you are planning on using photography, please read Rowe Sanctuary’s Photo Policy: http://rowe.audubon.org/visit/general-crane-tours.

 

Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing Trip – Calamus Outfitters

Friday, March 20 (leave 3:00 pm)-Saturday, March 21 (return to hotel 12:00 noon)

$225/person ($235/person after March 1) - Because of trip's popularity, fee is not refundable.

Audubon has partnered with Calamus Outfitters near Burwell, Nebraska, to provide this wonderful opportunity to see Nebraska’s prairie grouse in action. Participants will travel by van to the Outfitters for an evening meal. The next morning, guides will lead folks to blinds to view Greater Prairie-Chickens in their courtship rituals. A home-cooked breakfast and birding trip back to Kearney will complete the trip.

Registration fees include Prairie-Chicken viewing tours, transportation, lodging, supper, and breakfast. Moderate walking will be involved on uneven terrain. Rooms are double-occupancy, single participants may need to share rooms.

Space is limited, and due to trip’s popularity, the fee is non-refundable. (Trip leaves hotel Friday at 3:00 and returns Saturday noon.)

 

Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing Trip – Prairie-Chicken Dance Tours

Friday, March 20 (leave 4:00 pm)-Saturday, March 21 (return to hotel 12:00 noon)

$225/person ($235/person after March 1) - Because of trip's popularity, fee is not refundable.

Audubon has partnered with McCook/Red Willow County Visitors Bureau (http://www.prairiechickendancetours.com/) to provide this opportunity to watch the spectacular show of southwest Nebraska’s Greater Prairie-Chickens. A knowledgeable guide will lead a van trip to McCook. After dinner Friday night and an overnight stay, participants will observe the annual mating dance of the prairie grouse. A breakfast and birding trip back to Kearney will complete the trip, arriving back at noon Saturday. Moderate walking will be involved on uneven terrain.

Registration fees include transportation, lodging, supper, and breakfast. Rooms are double occupancy – single participants may need to share rooms. Space is limited, and due to trip’s popularity, the fee is non-refundable. (Trip leaves hotel Friday at 4:00 and returns Saturday noon.)

 

Crane Trust Field Trip

Friday, March 20 – 11:00 am-3:00 pm

$35/person, $45/person after March 1

Participants will travel to the Crane Trust’s nature and visitor center to explore the building and trail system, and learn about Crane Trust’s staff and mission. The tour will also go to the Trust's main campus and Martin Meadow property, where participants will learn about wet meadows, current restoration projects, and its land protection plan. Trip does not include viewing from Crane Trust blinds; cranes might be seen during the tour of Martin Meadows.

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