General Crane Tours

Making reservations, helpful tips & photography policy.

Reservations can be made starting January 2, 2019, by calling 308-468-5282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, Monday - Friday or online.  Please review the information below prior to making a reservation.

Dates for 2019:
March 1 - April 7

Crane Viewing Tour Start Times: (Note change in start times due to Daylight Savings Time)
5:00 a.m. & 5 p.m.  March 1- March 9
6:00 a.m. & 6 p.m.  March 10 - April 7

Tours last approximately 3 hours.

Fees (sales tax not included):


Pre-payment is required and can be done with Visa, MasterCard & Discover.
Note: Cancellations are refundable up to 14 days prior to your trip, but are subject to a 5% charge on your purchase total.

Where to Meet:
All tours start at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center. Directions: Take I-80 Exit 285 (Gibbon exit) and drive south two miles to Elm Island Road, turn west (right) onto Elm Island Road and travel two miles to the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center parking lot entrance located on the north side of the road.

Drive time from south Kearney to the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center is approximately 20-25 minutes.  If you are staying in Grand Island, drive time is approximately 45-50 minutes.

N 40° 40.178
W 98° 53.088

March and April can be very cold and you will be standing in an unheated blind for about two hours, so dress appropriately. It is better to wear too much than not enough!

What to Wear:

  • The warmest coat and clothing you have, including long underwear
  • The warmest boots you have, along with wool or synthetic socks (avoid cotton)
  • Very warm mittens or gloves
  • Stocking cap or insulated hat
  • Please wear dark clothing as this helps us to blend in with our surroundings when walking to and from the blinds

What to Bring:

  • Binoculars
  • Camera (NO FLASHES) &/or video camera - See 'Photography Policy' below
  • Warm drinks & snacks (chemical toilets are outside each blind)
  • Flashlights are NOT allowed

Photography Policy
Cameras and other recording devices are welcome in our viewing blinds, provided they do not place the cranes at risk or detract from the experience for others.  Below are rules/guidelines for photography and recording in the general viewing blinds:

  • Rowe Sanctuary reserves the right to ban use of any device determined to be a nuisance.
  • No flash allowed.
  • Continuous mode or rapid fire photography is not allowed.
  • Tripods are not allowed in the viewing blinds due to space limitations and tripping hazards. Monopods are allowed (tripods CAN NOT be used as a monopod).
  • The use of cameras and any other recording devices will be allowed in the viewing blinds ONLY when there is enough light to prevent disturbance to cranes. This will prevent illumination from LCD screens in the blinds from spooking cranes roosting on the river and from diminishing the viewing experience for all visitors in the viewing blinds. Otherwise, all cameras and recording devices must be stored during the tour.
  • Tablets (i.e. - Ipads, etc.) are not allowed.
  • If you have a large lens, it cannot extend outside of the window.  This applies to everything else as well (i.e. - hands, face, binoculars, etc.).
  • If you plan to use your camera phone, you must change your settings to Airplane Mode and silent while on the tour.

Downloadable Resources

How you can help, right now