Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Hour in Northern Indiana!

You have to see it to believe it! I have heard about about the amazing Sandhill Crane gatherings at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area in Medaryville, IN for many years but never (for unknown reasons) made the 2 hour drive to see exactly what it was all about. That is until Saturday, December 5 a day that can best be describes as a "Happy Hour" for Cranes.

This unique place is a resting spot for spring and fall migrating Sandhill Cranes each and every year. Like clockwork, the Cranes show up during their migration to rest and feed at the property and in the nearby cornfields. The biggest part of the daily spectacle is in the early morning at sunrise and about 1 hour before sunset. It is at these times that the cranes fly in to this one area to greet each other by the thousands. Literally, thousands! They fly in from all directions and at times there are so many on the ground, in the sky, and coming in for landings that it becomes overwhelming - in a good way!

Peak numbers of Cranes are typically in November. This year the Cranes peaked on November 24 at 14,500! During our visit, I would guess there were between 7 - 10,000 Cranes! Along with these amazing numbers, you also get the fantastic sound effects! These birds are so noisy is almost comical. It is definitely a great social event. Check out the below video.

Sandhill Cranes can be found throughout North America and are between 41-46" tall with a wingspan between 73-77". They usually weigh between 7-10 pounds. They are a large, gorgeous, noisy bird that is extremely social and is typically seen in large flocks.

Making the trip to see this amazing congregation of Cranes was well worth it. The only thing I regret was that we had not made the trip much sooner. My family and I had a great time seeing these birds and I know it may a positive impact on each of my kids. There isn't a movie or video game out there that could replace what we seen at Jasper Pulaski on
December 5, 2009!
To find out more about Sandhill Cranes please check out the following links!


eileeninmd said...

How cool , lucky you! Seeing all those cranes must be an amazing sight. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly said...

..lucky, lucky you!! Maybe next year I can schedule this trip in. I'd love to get Matty and Rick there also...maybe it would turn Rick the Reluctant Birder into a full-time birder. It must be spectacular there...

Mary said...

Wonderful Sandhill crane photos! I had heard about these, but haven't seen them. Looks like you had a good day! If you want to see a lot of Snow Geese, head down to Henderson Slough in Henderson, KY right now....1000's will winter there and it's pretty awesome.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal