Wildlife Viewing Areas
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Red Willow Reservoir
A reservoir on Red willow Creek, surrounded by rolling grasslands, brushy draws, and tree plantings, mostly cedar and shrubs such as chokecherry and wild plum.
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Lillian Annette Rowe Sanctuary
Description: Managed to preserve the wide river channel, naked sandbars, and shallow water favored as roosting habitat by migrating sandhill cranes, the sanctuary attracts huge numbers of birds during the spring. Numbers of cranes in and around the sanctuary are estimated at 60,000. A quarter more of the sanctuary (the area north of the river) is grassland, much of it native mid-grass and tallgrass prairie. The prairie in bloom features wildflowers such as coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and poppy mallow, and is home to dickcissels, bobolinks, and regal fritillary butterflies. A birding rail starts from the office.

Wildlife to Watch: 

Special Tips: Access to the sanctuary is on foot only. During the crane viewing season (March 10 through April 10), observation blinds are set up and the sanctuary staff conducts tours in the morning and evening; contact the office for information. ACCESS TO THE VIEWING BLINDS IS BY RESERVATION ONLY. Another site offering good viewing of cranes feeding in nearby fields and flying to and from river roosts is located 0.5 miles past the office. The office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors must stay on established trails. No dogs are allowed.

Ownership: National Audubon Society 
Size: 1600 acres 
Closest Town: Gibbon


Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Sandhill Cranes - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
To office and crane season information center, take the Interstate 80 exit at Gibbon (285) and go south 2 miles. Turn right (west) and go 2 miles on the gravel road to the office-the white farmhouse on the right. Other times: take the Minden (Nebraska Highway 10) exit from I-80; go south on NE 10 to the first gravel road (there is an old railroad car here with an “antiques” sign on it); turn left (east) on the gravel road and go 1.2 miles to a parking lot on your right.

For more information call (308) 468-5282.

Map Link

Lillian Annette Rowe Sanctuary : Wildlife Viewing Area