Crane Season

Overnight Photography Experience

Spend a night with thousands of cranes!

Rowe Sanctuary’s photo blinds are placed near major roosts of Sandhill Cranes and can provide excellent opportunities for photography or provide a unique experience for any nature enthusiast. 

Reservations open January 5, 2022 at 9 a.m. Central Time.

It is important that our visitors understand that this is a wildlife sanctuary and our first concern is for the cranes and other wildlife. We will not compromise their well-being for anyone. If the rules for the blinds are not followed, the cranes can be flushed from their river roosts, which will likely result in crane deaths. If this happens, we will shut down the program and refund those who are signed up for future dates. This program depends on individuals acting in a responsible manner. We are counting on your experience and professionalism to make this work.

Fees: $250/blind + taxes and fees

Capacity: 2

How this works:

When you call and reserve a photo blind, you are agreeing to enter the blind at approximately 5 pm on the day of your reservation and not leave it until a staff person comes to pick you up after 9 am the next morning. A camping chemical toilet is provided for use inside the blind. You will experience the cranes flying in at dusk and leaving the river in the morning. Each blind is $250 plus tax and has a capacity of two people. 

The blinds are constructed of wood and measure approximately 6 ft. H x 8 ft. W x 6 ft. D. The floors are carpeted for comfort. Window heights are designed for sitting. Rowe Sanctuary has a limited number of camp-style chairs available for use but bringing your own seat is recommended. Each season, we locate each blind to optimize light based on input from professional wildlife photographers and for ease of access to the crane roosting areas. Due to management practices and river conditions, these locations may vary from year to year. This year, some of the blinds have switched locations.

In Nebraska, March and April weather is highly variable and can be quite cold, especially at night. Because of fire danger, we do not allow any type of gas or open flame heaters in the blind. If you are not experienced at cold weather camping or do not have adequate gear, you should consider signing up for one of our morning or evening viewing trips instead. This experience is not for everyone, so please know your limitations.

Important information:

  • Arrive at the Rowe Sanctuary Visitor Center by 4:45 pm.
  • Have all gear ready to load – we will transport you and your gear to the blind. Your car will be secure in our parking lot.
  • You may not leave the blind until a Rowe Sanctuary representative arrives to get you. The only exception is if you have a medical emergency.
  • A camping chemical toilet is provided for each blind.
  • Small red lights are provided, all other light sources are prohibited (i.e. flash attachments, flashlights, lanterns).
  • Camouflage or dark clothing is required.
  • No heaters or stoves of any type.
  • No alcoholic beverages or smoking allowed.

Suggested equipment list:

  • -10 degree sleeping bag or two 30 degree bags
  • Pillows
  • Insulated ground pads
  • Warm headgear
  • 2 or 3 pairs of socks
  • Warmest boots
  • Warmest gloves
  • Long underwear
  • Extra layers of clothing
  • Thermos (hot beverage)
  • Food (sandwiches, candy, nuts, etc.)
  • Water

If you have any questions, please call the center at (308) 468-5282.

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