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Evening drive to Escalante to find the Sand Hill Cranes

There is an article in the March 13th Daily Sentinel newspaper on the Gathering of the Cranes that got my attention. I love Sandhill Cranes and would love to see them flying at sunset.

There are reports that the Cranes are in at the Escalante State Wildlife Area, west of Delta. That said - this is an exploratory to see if we can find the Sandhill Cranes.

Let's plan on meeting at City Market and carpooling to the Escalante turnoff. If you are coming from Delta or Montrose give me a holler so I know that we need to meet you (maybe at the turnoff?) Anyway, bear with me as i do a little more research with the Audubon Society on where we can find the cranes.

I have no idea how much hiking this entails. I'd say probably not much - just getting near water(?)

For this outing bring:

  • camera
  • exploration tolerance
  • will to find Sandhill Cranes

**As a heads up - this is the Eckert Crane Days weekend Friday-Sunday. For those wanting more information please contact the Black Canyon Audubon Society[masked] for other events.Map link to Fruit Growers Reservoir, where cranes have been known to concentrate in years past.

*** Factoids from CO Dept of Fish & Game

  • Cranes are among the oldest living birds on the planet, with fossil records dating back 9 million years.
  • In Colorado the Greater sandhill crane is listed as a species of special concern, with a focus on Rocky Mtn Population Greater sandhill cranes that breed in the state. As people have moved into prime habitat areas, much of the nesting habitat became unsuitable because of either direct or indirect human disturbance during the incubation and chick-rearing periods, resulting in nest abandonment and loss of young.
  • There is currently no hunting season in Colorado for RMP sandhill cranes, but hunting seasons for RMP cranes are established in all other states in the range. Hunting seasons are established in Colorado for MCP sandhill cranes (east of the Continental Divide, excluding Jackson County and the San Luis Valley), and MCP cranes are harvested in most other states and provinces where they occur.

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  • Elizabeth B.

    Wow would have loved to be there. Nice

    March 17, 2013

  • Barbara L.

    An attitude of exploration infused the group. This is a beautiful canyon west of the Gunnison River, with huge hiking and biking potential... We heard first thunder of the year, and a bright horizontal lightning flash on dark gray clouds. Two rainbows! Great evening lighting-up of clouds and sandstone layered slopes.

    1 · March 16, 2013

  • Suzy N.

    How fun! Sorry I am missing this. I hope you see lots of cranes, get some great pictures, and enjoy your picnic! Can anyone somehow RECORD a video on your camera or phone with the sights and sounds of the cranes? It could be posted like one of Elizabeth's fun videos! Perhaps too late for you to see this now... Can't wait to hear about your experience!

    March 16, 2013

    • Suzy N.

      How long are the cranes supposed to hang out in this area before they move on, generally speaking. Educated guess, anyone?

      March 16, 2013

    • Mary N

      We're still trying to figure that out. Anyone have an answer?

      March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had such a good time.. when i got home i read the notice below from Suzy and just laughed.. lol lots of cranes.. we had a great picnic and an amazing rainbow after a little shower and saw deer, Big Horn sheep, cows and just wonderful views and rock formations .. I will be back there again.. i would go there to camp any day.. Thanks everyone for such a great time. Was a freaky road to drive out of there in the dark :)

    March 16, 2013

  • Mary h.

    Well let's see -- Adventurers? Check. Spectacular weather including a few raindrops, lightning and thunder? Check. Picnic feast under a large cottonwood near a creek? Check. Sandhill Cranes? Not a one!! 3 out of 4 is not bad. Great fun.

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in a blue Ford Explorer sports park to the right of Wells Fargo , I don't know what anybody else's car looks like anybody's phone number

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have some Chai Tea, some great white cheese and turkey pepperoni, smoked almonds and dark choc. covered raisins ..

    March 16, 2013

  • Jean L.

    I'll bring crackers or bread.

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    is this an event that we would still be doing in the rain, just asking..thanks

    March 16, 2013

  • Mary N

    Guess they are posting counts for cranes sighted at Fruitgrowers Reservoir; posting looks great for us: '2013/03/14 at 5:43 am - “After not seeing much at the basin , I ventured down to Delta and the Escalante Wildlife Area and saw as many as 2500. They were in the wildlife area and also in the neighboring farmers fields.”

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    yes i can make it.. yeah !!!

    March 15, 2013

  • Susan Law C.

    I can bring salad fixins!

    March 15, 2013

  • Susan Law C.

    Would love to come! How fun!

    March 15, 2013

  • Mary N

    So I am gathering we would go out to explore, staying out through sunset? As I still might be going somewhere else to do a bit of Irish celebration later that evening.
    I could bring some hummus and bread or crackers to spread it on.

    March 14, 2013

    • Mary h.

      Exactly. We'll be back in plenty of time for you to join the Irish celebration.

      March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    there was another very large group of them that flew over head today.. wish they would land in my backyard.. it is the sound that they make that is so amazing.. i won't know if i can go till tomorrow. Fri. is that to late.? thanks olie

    March 14, 2013

    • Mary h.

      No not too late to let us know you are coming.

      March 15, 2013

  • Barbara L.

    I will bring a basket containing embellished salad, apple juice, water, cups, plates, bowls, utensils, napkins. Mmm! Bring something if it is an easy thing to do. Otherwise, just have salad!

    1 · March 14, 2013

  • Mary N

    I just heard about this, also read that Sentinel article and was thinking would be fun to do some viewing. Have tentative other plans that evening, but thinking might rearrange my schedule.

    March 14, 2013

    • Mary h.

      Would love it if you can. This will be fun!

      March 14, 2013

  • Jean L.

    This sounds like a wonderful eve. I am not able to walk a lot right now due to an injury. Any idea how long we will be out?
    I like Barbara's idea for a picnic.

    March 13, 2013

    • Mary h.

      I'm thinking this won't be much of a walking trip so much as drive down and park near the river. And yes I like Barbara's idea of a picnic too.

      March 14, 2013

  • Barbara L.

    Special kind of an outing...
    shall we bring a picnic?

    1 · March 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    would we be able to car pool? my old eyes are not great for night driving.. as not sure how long we'd be gone. the other day I must have had about 100 or more of the cranes fly over my home .. the land in the quarry at 29 road if they sound like doves ? amazing sight.. or they are blue heron cranes.?

    March 13, 2013

  • Elizabeth B.

    I'm so sorry I had agreed to work that night now :(

    March 13, 2013

8 went

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