Last Frame: Evening Passage

Evening Passage by Michael Forsberg.

Michael Forsberg’s photograph of sandhill cranes was selected by the United States Postal Service as a Forever stamp to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood. The stamp was dedicated in March at the Nebraska State Capitol. © 2017 U.S. Postal Service.

“A squadron of sandhill cranes fly low over the Platte River at sunset, in search of shallow mid-river sandbars where they will find a safe roost overnight. Each March, the Platte River in central Nebraska becomes sheer spectacle as over 500,000 sandhill cranes and millions of waterfowl converge to this proverbial pinch in the hourglass of the Central Flyway. It is the largest gathering of cranes anywhere in the world. The mix of protected conservation lands and agricultural fields is also one of the most important habitats for migratory birds anywhere in North America.

“I am a native Nebraskan and have photographed cranes on the Platte for over two decades. The temptation is to use big lenses and try to fill the frame, but one season many years ago I set out to make a different kind of image that tied the cranes and this landscape intimately together. I failed miserably for weeks, then one evening, laying in a small homemade blind made of garden fence and prairie grass on the edge of the river, I captured the frame I saw in my mind’s eye: sharp crane silhouettes winging over a prairie river reflecting the fiery Nebraska sunset.”—Michael Forsberg

See more of Michael Forsberg’s photography at