Utilizing crane watching as a social isolation activity

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. People in North Platte are trying to find activities outside which honor the social distancing guidelines.

People in North Platte are watching the cranes as a social isolation activity. (Source: Jace Barraclough/KNOP)

Dennis and Kay Ferguson spent Sunday afternoon parked on a back road near a field watching the cranes.

As one group would fly away, another would swoop down to replace them.

Dennis said he had always seen the cranes in passing, but would never stop to enjoy them.

"I haven't really taken time in my life to sit and watch them. I've seen them all the time," he said. "How do they know when to come this time of the year? Where to stop? All of that kind of stuff. That's the thing that impresses me."

Kay said they got the idea from a friend.

"One of his friends said they had been out and we thought, 'That sounds like a good thing to do. It's a nice sunny day, a beautiful day.' It's fun to watch nature," Kay said.

One North Platte resident receives the gift of watching the cranes from his house each year.

"It's kind of neat to watch them. Especially when I'm out here working," said Herman Hasenauer. "Then they get up and fly and go a little ways and then they land again. They normally don't stay too close to people."

On Sunday, Hasenauer's property was a resting point for thousands of cranes.

"I even have people call me and ask if it's alright if they stop and film them. I don't care. It's kind of neat," said Hasenauer.

People who are interested in trying a crane blind or would like information on where to spot them, they can visit the North Platte Visitors Bureau.