National Research Program
Assessing Sandhill Crane Roosting Distribution
Each spring approximately 500,000 sandhill cranes and some endangered whooping cranes use the Central Platte River Valley in Nebraska as a staging habitat during their migration north to breeding and nesting grounds in Canada, Alaska, and the Siberian Arctic. Over the last century changes in the flow of the river have altered the river channels and the distribution of roost sites. USGS researchers determined a direct linkage between crane roosting habitat and river flows in the Platte. The results are useful for estimating crane populations and for providing resource managers with techniques to understand crane habitats.
[Histogram showing the ranges of depths and velocities used by roosting cranes in the Rowe Sanctuary study reach.]
For additional information, see the fact sheet, Kinzel, P.J., Nelson, J.M., and Parker, R.S., 2005, Assessing Sandhill Crane roosting habitat along the Platte River, Nebraska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2005-3029, or contact: