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Cranes in the sky

Stamp photographer recalls winning shot

Stamp photographer speaking
Michael Forsberg addresses the audience at the March 1 Nebraska Statehood stamp dedication in Lincoln.

It took Michael Forsberg a month to capture the sunset imagery featured on the new Nebraska Statehood stamp.

The award-winning wildlife photographer and Nebraska native timed the photograph of sandhill cranes flying over the Platte River to coincide with the large birds’ return to the river following their annual migration.

“It required scouting a blind location weeks in advance of their passage,” Forsberg said.

Forsberg, dressed in a camouflage suit, photographed the cranes after they’d finished feeding on the river’s banks and were in search of a spot to rest for the night.

“I wanted an image that pulled back and tied together the river, prairie, sunset and cranes flying through the frame,” he said.

At the March 1 dedication ceremony, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts thanked Forsberg “for capturing such a breathtaking photo depicting our state’s true beauty.”

Forsberg uses his work to highlight conservation efforts and wants people to know his state is home to other wildlife such as bison, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and prairie chickens.

“I bet that surprises a lot of people that think Nebraska is just one big cornfield,” he said.

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