Spring bird walk planned at Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Crane Meadows Wildlife Refuge will once again host a free guided bird walk for beginners, hobbyists and seasoned bird watchers, Saturday, May 5. Experienced birder Milt Blomberg will be guiding participants along the Platte River Trail on Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Starting at the trail head, the walk will continue to the viewing platform overlooking Rice Lake and back to the headquarters building site. The trail winds through a variety of wildlife habitats such as prairie, woodland, oak savanna, wetland, shallow lake and riverine. Participants will have a chance to view waterfowl, shore birds, grassland birds and woodland dwellers. Birds of special focus will be sandhill cranes, raptors, swans, warblers, eagles and song birds.

Participants will meet at the Platte River trail head at 8 a.m. and finish before noon. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather. Binoculars are suggested, however, the Refuge does have additional sets that may be loaned to visitors. Transportation on the trail will be provided for individuals with limited mobility. Refreshments will be provided at the headquarters area courtesy of the Friends of Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

Other bird watching opportunities may be available following the conclusion of the Refuge walk depending on interest and guide availability. Those interested are asked to call so staff can plan accordingly.

Some of the off-site areas visited in the past include the Lindbergh State Park, Ereaux Wildlife Management Area, Weyerhaeuser-Musser Estate and a road trip around Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

The day is sponsored by the Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Crane Meadows.

To register for the program or for more information, call Paul Soler at (320) 632-1575.