Sandhill Cranes in Monte Vista, CO

Every year approximately 25,000 Sandhill Cranes migrate through Monte Vista from mid-February through mid-April (thousands of others through Nebraska). These cranes have used the same migration path for millions of years. A fossil was found in Nebraska dating over 10 million years old making this the oldest known bird species still living. Join me over an extended weekend to study and photograph the behaviors of this incredible bird. The date is TBD until bird counts can be confirmed. Should be some time in March. I will be there for approximately 3 days. You do not need to commit to the entire duration of the trip and this is not going to be a formal Meetup. I am hoping to provide a new experience for people. I will not open this for signup until I get a firm date.

I will be staying at the Monte Villa Inn in Monte Vista. Monte Vista does not have many hotels, so the other option is to stay in Alamosa and make the short drive to the refuge. There are two wildlife refuges in the area. One just outside of Alamosa and the other just south of Monte Vista. The cares are at the Monte Vista location and generally do not frequent the refuge outside of Alamosa.

We will meet in the parking lot behind my hotel on Friday afternoon to go out for an evening shoot. The address is 925 1st St in Monte Vista. It will be informal, but want to meet with people first so everyone has a good idea of where to find the birds. We will then meet again early Saturday morning before sunrise to make sure people who didn't arrive until late Friday night will know where to find the birds. I will post a map as well in case we don't connect with everyone. After the initial meeting, this will be informal and everyone can seek out the spots they like best. We will be in the area for questions and if people would like we can try to organize dinner together to discuss questions and concerns from the days shoot.

We will be shooting Saturday evening and then again Sunday morning as well before departing for home after the Sunday morning shoot. Please keep checking back for additional information as it is determined.

Hope everyone is looking forward to a fun time. Also, here is a good site to find local hotels: http://www.cranefest.com/lodging.html

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    WOW! I've been following this event (regretting that I couldn't attend) and after seeing the photos uploaded by Alex, Kurt and Shepherd, I can only hope to tag along on one of these meetups to glean a fraction of your expertise! I'm excited to see others' photos too!

    Shari

    March 19, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I agree. Those photogs who mad it down there came back with some tremendous shots. Great work everyone!

      March 19, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Kurt, good to hear from you. I put[masked] into my phone and auto dialed it. Left a message. Just called it again and left another message. There was only a standard operator answer and no name greeting. Might check your record and see if any of my calls came. Strange... seems to be the same number listed on the meetup. I called Saturday about noon, and again later Saturday evening.

    March 17, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      I don't know what else to say. I checked my call records the entire weekend and again before I responded the first time to you and nothing is there except the calls which came in from two other people who I spoke with. In addition, no voicemail messages either. So, I don't know what happened. I can only go off what I have.

      March 18, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Couldn't find the group, but got some good shots.

    March 17, 2014

  • Shepherd E.

    Great meetup Kurt, thanks for sharing your methods and tips with the group

    March 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Got back Sunday night. There weren't as many craines as I saw last year, but still got some good shots. Had a good time by myself. Couldn't find anyone there from the group and called Kurt. Left a couple of messages but never got them returned. I just wonder what happened?

    March 17, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Hello (sorry, I do not know your name since it isn't listed, so not sure how to address you). I had my phone with me all weekend and received calls from 2 others. I did not receive any other calls or messages, so the only thing I can think if, is maybe you misdialed?

      March 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had to go another day. I couldn't see how to add any photos, but are are some of mine: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.434381273364634.1073741986.269802626489167&type=3

    There are more on my site

    March 17, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Kurt, et al. I am here at the hotel. Will be down and in the parking lot around 3:45 unless we want to go earlier.
    [masked]

    see everyone soon!

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will be out that way and hope to find you!

    1 · March 12, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Hi Patti, feel free to call me if you cannot find us. [masked] Kurt

      March 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks kurt. 2 of us in alamosa. Will call you in a bit. Thx

      March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Kurt - I'm probably going to meet you there (just not at 3:00 am on Friday). I'll officially RSVP when I know for certain.

    Is anyone interested in sharing the ride (I don't mind driving) and/or a room?

    March 4, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Sorry you can't make it CAZ.

      March 14, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me too Kurt. Was looking forward to shooting with you but just couldn't make it happen this time.

      March 14, 2014

  • Jessica K

    Not sure when I will arrive; Friday or Saturday. Hope to find you when I arrive [masked]).

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    My friend and I will get in about noon Saturday. Is there a cell phone number I can get to connect with everyone?

    March 13, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Sure,[masked] Kurt

      March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I got some great shots this past week. Good luck everyone!!

    1 · March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm coming down Sat or Sun and leaving Mon or Tues. Any chance someone could indicate where and when best spots for crane shots? I was there last year and got some awesome video.

    March 11, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Hard to say until we get there. It can differ a little each year based on numbers, water, etc. But fields along Hwy a5 just south of the refuge are usually pretty good.

      March 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    no can do :(

    March 10, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Sorry you can't make it now Junaid.

      March 12, 2014

  • Kurt B.

    Hi everyone, I expect we will be in town and early enough for us to meet in the parking lot around 4 PM on Friday. That should give us a few hours of shooting Friday evening. If you are running late, the map I attached is to the Monte Vista wildlife refuge. If we are not inside of it, we will be in the area. There are only a few designated pull offs close to the Monte Vista refuge for crane viewing right off of highway 15. Looking forward to seeing everyone.

    March 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds like an amazing opportunity and something that I was completely unaware occurs here in Colorado! I wish I could make it, but that pesky J-O-B prevents my attendance... :(

    March 8, 2014

  • Charles P.

    sorry, Fridays are bad for me!!!

    March 8, 2014

    • Shepherd E.

      Charles, if you can't make Friday, you can always come down Saturday and shoot the rest of the weekend.

      March 8, 2014

  • Shepherd E.

    Awesome to see this getting some interest. Its going to be a great weekend!

    March 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to this. I will also be staying at the Monte Villa Inn.

    1 · March 8, 2014

  • Alex B.

    I'm looking forward to this, should be a lot of fun. Never been down there for the cranes.

    1 · March 5, 2014

  • Shepherd E.

    <crickets chirping> <tap, tap, tap> "Is this thing on?!"

    February 28, 2014

  • Kurt B.

    Here is a good quick read about the cranes and migration. http://www.fws.gov/alamosa/cranes.html

    February 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like a great weekend would like to go Friday and come back late Saturday

    February 23, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      Not a problem Ann. We are going to be there for 2 days, but people can show up either day if they can't make it for the entire time.

      February 24, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would love to do this! Have never been, but have heard great things about this. May have to leave EARLY Sunday or late Saturday due to work travel.

    February 9, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      No longer a possibility for me…work travel has shifted. Can't wait to see what you guys capture!

      February 24, 2014

  • Shepherd E.

    Sounds like a great weekend, I haven't been since 2009. I may be able to go Friday and come back late Saturday

    February 9, 2014

    • Kurt B.

      I hope so Shep. It'll be good to see you there.

      February 9, 2014

    • Shepherd E.

      Thinking I could go down early enough Friday to shoot that late afternoon/evening, the shoot all day Saturday. This will be awesome. Thanks for setting this up!

      February 9, 2014

  • Catherine E

    Road trip!

    February 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    count me in

    February 9, 2014

7 went

This Meetup is community funded

$20.00/year

Member dues are used to:
  • Cover Meetup costs
  • Have a reserve fund
  • Provide supplies or equipment
  • Improve Meetups

30 day free trial

No credit card required

After the trial you must pay dues to be a member of this Meetup.

Cancel dues at any time.

Dues are billed each year.

Our Sponsors

  • The Old Studio

    Rent 2 hours studio time, get a 3rd hour free. Must be used @same shoot

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy