Sandhill Cranes Elderhostel underway this week

Dr. Doyle Howitt
director of the Elderhostel Program for UNK, 308.627.3222

Thirty-nine participants from 15 states and the District of Columbia are in the Kearney area for the Sandhills Cranes Elderhostel Program, which is offered in conjunction with the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The group is here now through Friday, March 20. A complete schedule with topics, locations and presenters is listed below. In addition, the full list of participants and their locations is attached below the schedule.

Do note that the schedule is subject to change, so you will want to contact Dr. Howitt to ensure that the group will be at the location listed on the attached schedule.


NOTE: Schedule subject to change without notification

Contact Doyle Howitt at 308-627-3222 for specific location of birders

March 16

5:45 – 8:30 am                “First Glimpse of the Cranes”
Rowe Sanctuary River Viewing Blinds, Rowe Sanctuary Staff

9:00-9:45 am                        Breakfast                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

10:00-12:00 pm                Classroom Topics                                        Classroom
·        “Natural History of Sandhill Cranes”
·        “Why the Migration”
·        Crane History and Crane Lore
·        Biology of Cranes
·        Crane’s Influence on our Culture
Presented by Keanna Leonard, Education Specialist Rowe Sanctuary

12:10-1:15 pm                         Lunch                                        Pioneer Village Restaurant

1:30-2:30 pm                        Classroom Topics                                        Classroom 
·        Water Fowl and other Migrants
Presented by Gary Lingle, Interpretative Naturalist 

2:45-5:30 pm                        Field                                Field Observation at Loafing Areas
At any of the following locations
·        Waterfowl Production Area,
·        Sacramento Basin Area
·        Funk Wildlife Refuge
Gary Lingle

6:00 pm                         Dinner                                 Pioneer Village Restaurant

7:00-7:45 pm                         The Story of Pioneer Village

Monica Miller


6:30-8:00 am                        Field                                                Prairie Chicken Lek
Gary Lingle

8:15-8:50 am                          Breakfast                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

9:15-11:30 am                        Classroom
”Birding  Identification Techniques”
“Platte River Basin Ecology”
  Gary Lingle Interpretative Naturalist

11:45-12:45 pm                Lunch                                        Pioneer Village Restaurant

12:45-2:15 pm (optional)         Exploring Time Pioneer Village and Museum

2:15-3:15 pm                        Exploring  Rowe Sanctuary       (Pending Weather Conditions)                        Rowe Sanctuary 
Kent Skaggs and Staff, Wildlife Specialist

3:30-4:45 pm                        Rowe
·        ” Another Perspective on the Cranes”
·        “Crane  Behavior”
·        “Migratory Patterns”
Keanna Leonard, Educational Director Rowe Sanctuary

5:00 – 5:45 pm                Snack Nutrition Break

6:15-8:15 pm                        ”Roosting Time – Return to Platte River”

Rowe Sanctuary River Viewing Blinds, Rowe Staff
** (Contingency: Weather Conditions)**

8:40 pm                        Light Buffet                                Pioneer Village Restaurant 
March 18

7:15 -7:45 am                        Breakfast                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

8:00-11:30 am                        Field                                Mist netting/Banding
·        GROUP A                Field Identification—Birding”

Fort Kearney State Park, Gary Lingle

·        GROUP B                “Field Identification—Birding”

8:45-11:30 am                        Hike/Bike Trail Ft Kearney, Kent Skaggs

(Groups A & B will rotate locations mid-morning approx 9:30) 

12:15-1:15 pm                        Lunch                                         Pioneer Village Restaurant

1:30-3:30 pm                 (Live Raptors).………Raptor Recovery Nebraska, Betsy Finch and Staff

3:30-4:45 pm                Visit Pioneer Village/Museum                        Pioneer Village

4:45-5:30 pm                Dinner                                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

6:00-8:00 pm ..….Optional …Cranes from another perspective 
Observing from outside platforms, by Gary Lingle

**weather & light conditions may affect this activity

March 19   

**5:45-8:00 am        Field**          “Breakfast with the Cranes”
River Viewing Blinds, Rowe Sanctuary Staff & Gary Lingle

8:30 -9:00 am                Breakfast                                        Pioneer Village Restaurant

9:15-11:00 am                Field Viewing                                                Wildlife Sanctuaries
“Species of the River Basin” 
by  Dr. Joe Springer, UNK Biologist  and  Gary Lingle, Educator /Naturalist

11:15-12:30 pm.        ”Endangered Species”                                        Classroom
by Dr. Springer

12:45-1:45 pm                Lunch                                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

2:00-3:00 pm                ”Whooping Crane Migration”                         Classroom
by Gary Lingle

3:00-5:00 pm                Explore Pioneer Village                                           Pioneer Village

5:00-5:45 pm                Dinner                                         Pioneer Village Restaurant

**6:15-8:30 pm….(Optional)……….….…..Cranes — Field Observation
(Weather Permitting)                    Gibbon Viewing Platform


7:00-7:45 pm                  Slide Presentation                                                 Classroom
by Walter Sheppe, participant from Akron, Ohio

March 20  

6:30-8:15 am                Field**…        .Prairie Chickens


6:30-8:00 am                Field**        Hike-Bike Trail  Viewing Bridge
Presented by Gary Lingle
**Weather conditions permitting**

8:45-9:30 am                Breakfast                                        Pioneer Village Restaurant

9:30-11:00 am         Visit Pioneer Village                                         Pioneer Village

11:00-11:40 am        Recognition of Scholarly Achievement

12:00-1:00 pm                Lunch                                                Pioneer Village Restaurant

1:15-5:00 pm                Departure