Sandhill crane migration photo earns 'Forever' status

February 17, 2017, 8:26 a.m.

The newest Forever stamp from the United States Postal Service gives a gorgeous nod to America's heartland. In a celebration of the 150th birthday of Nebraska's statehood, the USPS selected an image by beloved Nebraskan conservation photographer Michael Forsberg, who has been documenting life on the Platte River for many years.

This image immortalizes the migration of sandhill cranes, which stop over at the Platte River during their annual migration.

“Each March, the Platte River in south-central Nebraska is the stage for one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America,” said Forsberg in a release announcing the new stamp. “Here, millions of migrating birds in the Central Flyway, including a half million cranes, funnel through the Platte River Valley for weeks to rest and refuel while on a long migratory journey between southern wintering grounds and northern nesting grounds. It is the largest gathering of cranes anywhere in the world."

Over 40,000 images are submitted to the USPS every year for consideration to become a stamp. Only a small handful make the cut.

It's a testament to Forsberg's skill and persistence for his image to gain national recognition — and that means a broader audience for the beauty of the Platte River and its inhabitants.