Sandhill Crane - Platte River Valley, Nebraska. A sandhill crane appears to leap for joy as it performs a courtship dance on a secluded wet meadow in the Platte River valley of south central Nebraska. Wet meadows are often overlooked but critical habitats for migrating sandhill cranes. Nutrients gleaned from wet meadows play a small but crucial part in the cranes diet that protect egg development. They also are safe havens away from the river where they spend the majority of their day, resting, preening, bathing and courting their mates. Cranes have long been revered as symbols of life, longevity and good fortune, and have touched the lives of people and influenced cultures with their human-like mannerisms, elegance and grace.