Colorado Seasonal February 19, 2021
The Arrival Of 20,000+ Sandhill Cranes In Southern Colorado Is A Sight That Everyone Should See
Not long ago, we discussed the hundreds of thousands of geese flying over Colorado on their way to their nests, but they aren’t the only ones headed home before spring! If you look to the sky in the next few weeks, you may notice another kind of large bird flying overhead, which may just be one of 20,000+ sandhill cranes heading back to their nests:
They're here (or at least they will be soon)! That's right: approximately 23,000 to 27,000 sandhill cranes will soon be flying over Colorado after spending the winter at New Mexico's Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
As first reported by
OutThere Colorado, the sandhill cranes make 2 trips through Colorado each year, once in late September to late November and then again in early February through late March.
Where are they going? Like the geese, the cranes spend late fall through early winter in warmer climates (where they form flocks of more than 10,000) before returning to nest in the northern United States and Canada.
How can you tell if it is a crane and not another kind of bird? With its distinct color (gray feathers, red foreheads, and white cheeks), sound ("gar-oo-oo”), and long wings, the sandhill crane is generally easy to identify!
To spot a sandhill crane, check large fields during the day and wetland areas during the night, especially in southern Colorado areas like the San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area and Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge.
To learn more about the sandhill crane and where you may see them around Colorado, please visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife's
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here! For even more Centennial State wintertime fun, check out these 11 Things No One Tells You About Surviving A Colorado Winter.