sandhill crane migration in nebraska Sandhill cranes are often on the move, but there's one special place and time where you find more cranes than you could ever imagine. (Photo: Ilana E. Strauss)

Last week, I saw what the Audubon Society calls one of "the greatest wildlife spectacles on the continent." Every spring, half a million sandhill cranes migrate up through the United States and toward the Arctic. On the way, most of them converge on one spot: Nebraska.

Cranes and bird watchers alike flock to Nebraska's Platte River every year. Jane Goodall was even staying in the same guesthouse as me while I was there. (And no, I didn't meet her ... *pulls hair out*).

But even if you didn't make it to Nebraska with Jane and I, you're not completely out of luck. I woke up before sunrise and took a bunch of photos so you could see these famous birds for yourself. To get in the right frame of mind, start with this short video — you'll see these beautiful birds in action and hear the amazing sound of so many birds in one place. It's unforgettable.

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana Strauss

Sandhill cranes migrate over Nebraska. Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss

sandhill crane migration in nebraska Photo: Ilana E. Strauss