Back to the cranes

Although it feels almost treason-like to momentarily hold my tongue and write a blog  unrelated to the war being waged on science and truth in the US, the annual crane-fest is as good a reason as any to distract oneself with nature’s wonders.


The sandhill cranes at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary

It’s been over a decade since I last drove out west, about 2.5 h from Omaha, Nebraska, to view the spectacle of ~500,000 sandhill cranes congregating along the Platte River to feed, rest and bulk up before continuing their annual spring migration to the great white north.


During the day, these cranes feed on leftover corn from the harvest of the many farms in the area, but each night, they collect along the river, and eco-tourists (like me) can reserve a spot in a protected “blind” and view this incredible scene.


On the other hand, each morning (5 or 6 am), we can also reserve a spot at the blind to watch as the cranes noisily awake and begin their typical “lift-off” to head for the fields to feed.

Need I say more? Take a look and take a listen! (click on the last photo to see a short movie or try this you-tube link …)


About Steve Caplan

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where I mentor a group of students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers working on endocytic protein trafficking. My first lablit novel, "Matter Over Mind," is about a biomedical researcher seeking tenure and struggling to overcome the consequences of growing up with a parent suffering from bipolar disorder. Lablit novel #2, "Welcome Home, Sir," published by Anaphora Literary Press, deals with a hypochondriac principal investigator whose service in the army and post-traumatic stress disorder actually prepare him well for academic, but not personal success. Novel #3, "A Degree of Betrayal," is an academic murder mystery. "Saving One" is my most recent novel set at the National Institutes of Health. Now IN PRESS: Today's Curiosity is Tomorrow's Cure: The Case for Basic Biomedical Research (CRC PRESS, 2021). All views expressed are my own, of course--after all, I hate advertising.
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