Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"Notes," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1987) 55(2).


Copyright 1987, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


PELICAN WITH SANDHILLS CRANES. On 17 October 1986, about 1:30 PM, I took a call from Mrs. Darrol Sukraw from Stapleton, who reported a flock of Sandhill Cranes (approximately 100 birds) that contained a single Whooping Crane. After questioning her about the description of the white bird, I felt her observation might be valid and asked her which direction the birds were traveling.

She informed me that the flock had just passed over Stapleton and was flying directly South down highway 83, toward North Platte. This is a distance of about 30 miles. Hoping that I could verify the Whooping Crane sighting, I finished a project on my desk and drove across town to the north side of North Platte. As I crossed the North Platte River I observed a large flock of Sandhill Cranes riding the thermals over highway 83 and slowly moving south. The flock was flying at an altitude of approximately 1,000 ti 1,500 feet, but a single white bird stood out vividly from the rest of the flock. I radioed back to the North Platte office that I had located the flock with the single white bird, and it appeared to be a Whooping Crane.