Ricketts Proclaims The Sandhills Crane As Nebraska’s Official Migratory Bird

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      Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed a proclamation making the Sandhills crane the state’s official migratory bird. Over half a million cranes stop in Nebraska each year on their way to and from nesting grounds in Canada.

       Ricketts said the annual spring stop en route to Canada is one of the state’s big tourist attractions, citing a University of Nebraska-Kearney study that showed some 46,500 people came to see the cranes in 2017, generating $14.3-million dollars in economic activity.

     The governor said the crane migration also underscores the importance to protect and preserve Nebraska’s natural resources, pointing out that U-S News and World Report lists the state as the 6th-best in the nation for natural environment. 

    The signing ceremony took place at Audubon Nebraska’s Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, one of the top crane-watching sites.

       The cranes stop on an 80-mile stretch of the Platte River between Overton on the east and Chappell on the North Platte on the west. 

   More than 535,000 Sandhills cranes had been counted in the state this year as of Wednesday morning. 

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