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Sandhill cranes

With tens of thousands of sandhill cranes crowding the sky and strips of land along the Platte River in this 2011 photo, a lone sandhill crane comes in for a landing on a sandbar near the Audubon Rowe Sanctuary.

FRANCIS GARDLER, Journal Star file photo

The Audubon Society announced crane watchers in Nebraska will soon have new viewing blinds to experience the sight and sounds of thousands of migrating sandhill cranes on the Platte River.

Audubon is finalizing the design of new Discovery Stations to replace the existing viewing blinds at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon.

A $300,000 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, awarded in early April, gave the organization enough funding to get started on the project. The Discovery Stations are part of a 50-year plan for Rowe Sanctuary developed in 2015.

Audubon also received support for the Discovery Stations from the Kearney Visitors Bureau, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and private donations. The organization hopes to start construction this fall.

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Assistant city editor

Shelly Kulhanek is assistant city editor.

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