Spring’s Awakening


Spring’s Awakening

Sandhill Cranes

Spring’s Awakening



600 mm

The Story

Every spring, Nebraska’s Platte River witnesses a spectacular natural phenomenon as thousands of sandhill cranes embark on their annual migration. These majestic birds, known for their distinctive calls and striking red caps, gather along the riverbanks to rest and refuel on their journey north. Their arrival is an announcement to Bill that his favorite time of year is about to begin.

The sandhill cranes are known for their communication and antics: throwing sticks, dancing up and down, bobbing their heads, and the like. Even though this migration can bring 600-thousand cranes to the area, Bill will often find a small cluster of them to sit and watch for several hours. Another example of patience paying off.

No items found.

Countless Hours.

A Single Moment.

A man of few words Bill Vanderhagen is more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Like many, he finds the speed of modern life exhausting. Photography is his refuge. It is in the stillness of nature, waiting countless hours to capture that single moment where he feels most alive.

Bill discovered photography in 2008 as a way to combine my two passions for art and the outdoors. Learning the skills of this art form was an adventure of its own. With the exception of a brief two-year hiatus due creative burnout, Bill have never bored from chasing that single image.

Even with human subjects, there is something magical about capturing a glance, a smirk, or smile, which is gone just as quickly as it showed up.

Thanks for visiting the site. It has always been Bill's hope that the photos he shares bring you the sense of excitement and discovery he feels when it is just him, the unknown subject, and his camera.