Ogallala Aquifer | What Happens When the Water Runs Out, National Geographic Magazine: Sandhill Crane Habitat
Wood River Nebraska – Morning breaks as Sand Hill Cranes fly in to sit in two inches of precious Ogallala water on the Platte River. These are the grassland birds of the Great Plains migrating from Siberia and Canada to the southern United States and Northern Mexico. Their main migratory path is north-south and then in reverse as they fly in to breed in the High Plains aquifer. The birds path is constrained by the Rocky Mountains much in the same as the ancient aquifer. They depend on these protected waterways and create an hourglass shape in their migration making a wide path following to the narrow choke point at Kearney on the Platte River, then the migration fans out as they leave. During their migration, nearly a half million Sand Hill Cranes fly in to Crane Trust property and adjacent farmland.