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SANDHILL CRANES RETURN

Soon, Thousands of these elegant birds will descend on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in San Luis Valley, CO.

 

January 26, 2018



Thousands of Sandhill Cranes will soon be descending upon the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado’s scenic San Luis Valley. To celebrate the crane’s return, the 35th annual Monte Vista Crane Festival will be held March 9 - 11, 2018.

It’s the oldest birding festival in Colorado and one of the oldest in the nation. The cranes congregate in the refuge partly because the San Luis Valley is along their migratory route from their wintering grounds in New Mexico to nesting grounds further north. It’s also because the refuge staff works hard throughout the year to maintain healthy wetlands and plant barley fields. Just before the crane fest, they mow large swaths of the barley fields close to public viewing areas, drawing birds in to feast on the fallen grain and small animals attracted to the seeds (cranes are omnivores). Sunrise and sunset tours offered during the festival take birders to these “hotspots,” where it’s possible to see thousands of cranes.

For festival details and tour registration, visit http://www.mvcranefest.org. Registration deadline is March 7, 2018.

 

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