17 March, 2019

Welcome to the first post on the new blog page. I’m excited to get things started here and hope that you all enjoy the updates.

On this weeks post, I would like to talk about my recent trip to Grand Island, Nebraska. With a new website is coming a new format for this blog. Instead of posting randomly about the wild things that I see, I will be doing more of a weekly update, posting on Sunday afternoons which means that it should be out about the same time as our podcast Back Porch Birding.

That being the case, this past week was Spring Break for Kansas State University and I took advantage of that to get in some great wildlife viewing. This time of year the Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) are migrating to their breeding grounds in the Northern United States and Canada and my wife and I seem to be starting the tradition of going to Grand Island, Nebraska to visit our friends as well. Grand Island is one of the many stopovers on this great crane migration.

Thousands of cranes congregate in the harvested crop fields of Nebraska, but I was only able to observe 176 as they flew over my wife and I at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center. This center helps to educate the public of the importance of the crane migration and conservation and provides a walking trail for wildlife viewing along the Platte River.

On our way back home we stopped at Alcove Spring where I got to do a little bit of Kansas birding as well. Here I was able to pick up a few waterfowl species for my year list including Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) and Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca). I was fortunate enough to spot a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) as well while walking back to the car. Alcove Spring seems to be the place to go to for me to see opossums.

All-in-all, I had a very successful Spring Break for wildlife viewing. Hopefully the Sandhill Cranes will have a great breeding season this year and there will be even more to view next year. I think it’s safe to say that spring has sprung here in Kansas which hopefully leads to even more exciting wildlife experiences for me to share with you all.

Photos and Links

Back Porch Birding Podcast

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center

CRP along the trail at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor center.
Platte River
The waterfall at Alcove Spring
Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) at Alcove Spring

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