Three endangered whooping cranes have stopped at Jeffrey Island in the Platte River in central Nebraska. The cranes landed February 2 in the first confirmed sighting of the birds since the seven-mile-long island was turned into a wildlife habitat more than a decade ago.
Jeffrey Island is between Overton and Lexington.
The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District has spent nearly $9 million to lease the 4,000 acre island to attract whooping cranes and two other endangered species.
District spokesman Mike Drain says the district had to develop wildlife habitat areas as part of its federal license for Kingsley Dam at Lake McConaughy, the state's largest irrigation and hydroelectric reservoir.
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