Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snapshots from the Past Week at the Center

Wine tasting. Cedar Hills Vineyard.

Jane Goodall enjoys the cranes.

Tom Mangelsen, Jane Goodall and Brad Mellema enjoy the migration.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Whooper Watch Training Session Offered

18 March 2011

The Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center in partnership with The Crane Trust offers a Whooper Watch training session for volunteers to search for and observe highly endangered whooping cranes as they pass through Nebraska. The training session will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25th at the Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center. The session is free and open to the general public.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Join Us This Weekend at the Center..

We are now open every day 8a.m. to 6p.m.

The Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center is a must stop when your in the area for sandhill crane and outdoor activities. Our Wild About Nebraska Event Series kicks into high gear this week with the following events and happenings.

Guided crane viewing tours every day. Click here for more information.

Saturday March 12

We will be featuring Dr. Paul Johnsgard at 1 p.m. who will be speaking about his recently published book "Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices over Americas Wetlands".

Brian “Fox” Ellis will perform “Animal Tales” program. 2 p.m.
Brian “Fox” Ellis is a performer and storyteller who will entertain the entire family. He has performed across the country in the character of John-James Audubon, Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Darwin.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Artist Cynthia Duff and Tricia Moon-Beem reception Saturday March 5

Artist Cynthia Duff dropped of some of her paintings yesterday. We have them displayed in our Hornady Art Gallery. Cynthia and writer Tricia Moon-Beem will be at an artist reception this Saturday at the Nebraska Nature & Visitor Center from 1-3p.m. With the backdrop of the spring sandhill crane migration it promises to be a great time. There is no charge and it open to the general public.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You Thought You Were Feeling Old...

I made a visit to the Nebraska State Museum of Natural History to look at the remains of ancient cranes found in Nebraska. The fossil record for avian species is sketchy at best, due to the hollow bone structure of birds, they don't preserve very well. We do however, have some excellent examples thought to be from the Miocene epic at the Ashfall Fossil Bed State Historical Site.

Most of the Museum's collection is not at "Elephant Hall" located in the center of UNL's city campus, most of the collection is housed on the 4th floor of Nebraska Hall. I was led to a room filled with antiquities such as mammoth skulls and fossilized bones of all description. Very interesting place for sure.

Dr. George Corner from the Museum pulled out two examples of complete skeletal remains of the crowned crane (gruidae: balearica) that were exhumed from the Ashfall site. Alan Feduccia and Michael Voorhies wrote a paper about these remains. Feduccia and Voorhies believe that some 10 million years ago a volcano 100 times greater than Mt. St. Helens erupted in the area of New Mexico, covering Nebraska in ash of up to 3 meters.

The cranes that were found at the site were a smaller relative of the modern crowned crane that is found in Africa in modern times. The Nebraska bird is smaller than the African species.

We will continue to work with the museum to provide more information and interperative displays in the future.