Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Jorgensen, "The Changing Status of Sandhill Crane Breeding in the Eastern Rainwater Basin," from Nebraska Bird Review (September 2002) 70(3).


Copyright 2002, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Prior to extirpation as a breeder before 1 900, the Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) formerly bred throughout Nebraska (Bruner et al. 1 904; Ducey 1988; Sharpe et al. 2001). During the 1990s, several summer observations of Sandhill Crane in the Eastern Rainwater Basin region of south-central Nebraska suggested the probability of breeding. In 1999, I discovered direct breeding evidence at Harvard Waterfowl Production Area, Clay County. This breeding record, along with another by different observers in the same county during the same season are the first modern breeding records for Nebraska. In this note, I describe my observations, summarize all modern summer records, and discuss the species status in the Eastern Rainwater Basin.