The cranes have left. The wildlife management area has re-opened to the public.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission reports three whooping cranes who flew into Wilkinson Wildlife Management Area in Platte County on March 25th have flown off and continued their migration.
Whooping cranes are endangered with a population totaling only around 300 and are protected under federal and state laws. All of the whooping cranes migrate this time of year through Nebraska from Texas where they winter to their breeding areas in northern Alberta.
Restored in the mid-90s, the Wilkinson Wildlife Management Area wetland provides habitat for migratory birds.
As many as 400 people got to see the whooping cranes as well as the Sand Hill cranes along the central Platte River valley, coming from as far away as North Carolina, Michigan, and Minnesota.