Sign of spring: the sandhill cranes are arriving
- Created on Friday, 09 March 2012 15:49
- Written by Scott Rappold
It's one of the greatest annual migrations in the West. Each March, hundreds of thousands of Rocky Mountain sandhill cranes, en route from their winter grounds in Mexico and Arizona, arrive in the San Luis Valley.
They'll spend six weeks or so here before resuming their long journey to the Canadian Rockies. It's been going on since long before settlers penetrated this remote valley. And their arrival has become the most popular birding activity in Colorado. News reports from the area indicate the cranes have now arrived.
At 4 feet tall, with 6-foot wing spans, the cranes make for great photography, and few sights in Colorado can stir the soul like seeing thousands of them fill the sky while the sun sets on the blood-red Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
For those who really, really like the birds, and want to learn a lot more, take guided tours and hobnob with others who share the excitement over these majestic birds, this weekend is the Monte Vista Crane Festival.
Click here for more information. Just be sure to book your hotel room in advance, because trying to find a place to sleep here, when the festival double's the town's population, is for the birds.