The camera is controlled by an operator in the headquarters.

“With this camera, we were able to get amazing close-ups that sometimes you can only get through the blinds with binoculars,” said Douglas.

According to Douglas, the annual membership fee is $ 75 to access the virtual crane experience. While the virtual crane experience is no substitute for seeing the cranes up close and personal, it is a huge buy as you can take the tour experience every time it is available for the low one-time cost compared to the over $ 30 USD is the cost of a one-time personal blind tour.

“Our members have 24/7 access to the camera portal,” said Douglas.

Along with cranes, members can spot an array of migratory birds such as pelicans, eagles, ducks, geese and even the critically endangered whooping crane each day.

While viewers cannot manipulate the camera, they can always adjust what the camera sees.

During the crane migration season, the cameraman is at the controls about half an hour before sunrise and an hour before sunset when the cranes come home to settle on the river for the night. Each tour lasts 90 minutes. Tours run Wednesday through Sunday when a guide can run the tour and answer questions.