Since historic times, Greater Sandhill Cranes have congregated by the thousands every autumn evening in the marshes and ponds now called Crex Meadows SWA, located on the north side of Grantsburg, WI. People likewise gather to witness the sight of seemingly never-ending strands and haunting sounds as the birds seek and settle in to shelter for the night. Perhaps this is your year to experience anew or again this enduring ritual. Introductory remarks and instructions will begin at 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Visitor Center at Crex Meadow State Wildlife Area in Grantsburg WI. Destination(s) chosen will depend on CMSWA staff information, recent main roost areas, numbers of cars in the caravan, and current weather. Most likely either roost sites in Crex Meadows or at Fish Lake will be the general area. Sundown 6:09 PM End of Twilight 6:38 PM Oct 25 = New Moon
DIRECTIONS Take I-35 North to the Rock Creek/ Grantsburg Exit #165 (Highway 70), approximately 34 miles from Forest Lake. Take exit 165, turn right (EAST) on Highway 70, go 15 miles to the stop light in Grantsburg, WI. Turn left (NORTH) onto Pine Street. Follow the goose signs through town to the Visitor Center, located on the NE corner of the junction of County Road D and County Road F. Park and meet in the parking lot.
INSTRUCTIONS Bring binoculars and a scope if possible. Dress for cooling temperatures during the evening. Consider bug repellant, sunscreen, water, car supper or snack. Bring a spotting scope if you can. Group will gather in the parking lot for basic information by the leaders with Q and A. Departure time from the parking lot depends more on weather than conversation. We will caravan from the parking lot and depart as one group at the end of the evening. If destination is in Crex Meadows SWA, carpooling will be strongly encouraged; if destination is Fish Lake SWA all will drive separately. NOTE: Modern restrooms are located in the Visitors Center (715-463-2896) which has limited hours in October.
REGISTRATION Register with Louise Eidsmoe 651-231- 0453 [email protected]
DIFFICULTY Easy. Viewing can be improved somewhat by walking the road slowly, staying close beside the cars, so as not to spook the cranes.