Mike Forsberg

Mike has been a professional photographer for almost 20 years, focusing on wildlife and conservation stories in the Great Plains of North America. Born and raised in Nebraska, Mike began his career at NEBRASKAland magazine as a staff photographer and writer. His most recent project was the book Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild and the PBS documentary based on the same title. Mike first fell in love with the Platte while watching cranes on a trip to visit his grandparents in Kearney during high school. Mike lives in Lincoln with his wife Patty, two daughters Elsa and Emme, and a menagerie of animals. To learn more about Mike and his work, visit www.michaelforsberg.com.

Mike's Work

Few modern species can lay claim to older origins than the sandhill crane. Each spring, 80 percent of the mid-continent population spends a few weeks along the central stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska. But this unprecedented concentration of birds on the Platte represents a challenged ecosystem.

On a hot humid morning in late June, I got out of the truck dressed in a faded white cotton t-shirt, baggie shorts, and teva sandals, with a small backpack slung over my shoulder. I looked like I was headed out for a day at the beach. And I was. Well, sort of. In a […]

Musings on the importance and beauty of high places in the Platte River Basin.

They traveled in buckets, passed hand to hand from truck bed to lakeshore, before being carefully upended just above the surface by proud biologists. With each splash, another batch of young greenback cutthroat trout slid into the glassy waters of Zimmerman Lake – back into their native range high in Colorado’s South Platte River Basin.

Wet meadows and grasslands are typically hydrologically connected to the river, so they are important for crane courtship, loafing, and bathing areas. They are diverse and secluded, where cranes can roost at times when the river is unsuitable.

Each spring, sandhill cranes communally roost in the braided channels of the Platte River in central Nebraska. The river channel’s shallow areas and in-stream bare sandbars provide protection from predators, allowing the cranes to rest overnight.