Sandhill Crane Migration thru Crex Meadows

Tue, Oct 11 , 2016
1:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area
102 E Crex Ave,
Grantsburg, Wisconsin 54840

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Sandhill cranes congregate by the thousands at Crex Meadows in Grantsburg Wisconsin en route to their southeastern US wintering grounds.

Greater Sandhill Cranes breed throughout the wetlands in the woodlands of the Upper Midwest and southern Canada. In contrast to the Nebraska spring spectacle of Lesser Sandhill Cranes, it is their fall migration that is the more easily accessed. The high quality habitats of Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area are a natural magnet to attracting thousands of these birds every year.

Louise Eidsmoe is coordinating this field trip and Chase Davies will provide color commentary about Sandhill Cranes and avian migration in general.

Drive time to Grantsburg up I-35 and over US 70 is about 1.5 hours according to MapQuest. Travel north on I- 35. At Exit #165 turn right at the end of the ramp toward Grantsburg on Highway 70. At the one and only stop light in Grantsburg, turn left (north) and watch for and follow the signs and green footprints on the road through Grantsburg to Crex Meadows. Anyone wishing to carpool or car caravan should meet Louise at 1:00 p.m. at the Walmart at the junction of 35E and County Road E in Vadnais Heights. Park and meet her in the southeast corner of the parking lot OR drive on your own and meet at 4 PM at the Visitors Center Refuge staff will direct us to a viewing area that recently has been used by impressive numbers of Sandhill Cranes. In 2015 with clear skies we stayed until about 8:15 in the field.

There are hiking trails and good exhibits for your enjoyment before the viewing. The Visitors Center is open to 4:30 (think restrooms).

Special Instructions

Be sure to email Louise or call 651 645 6821 with your plans to come so she knows who and how many to watch for at 1. Walmart at County Road E and 3E OR 2 Crex Meadows Visitors Center at 4 pm.

Dress for cooling temperatures and quiet standing around.

Consider bringing camera, something to sit on, spotting scope, and/or field guide.

Bring snacks and fluids, binoculars, and curiosity.

Registration: email Louise or call 651 645 6821 to inform her who to look for at 1. Walmart parking lot to car caravan or carpool AND 2. who to look for at the Visitor Center at Crex at 4 pm to organize and go out to view the cranes gathering to roost.

Difficulty: Easy

Contacts: Please do remember and email Louise or call 651 645 6821 to register your intent to come on this field trip and whether you will 1. meet at Walmart to car caravan or carpool OR 2 meet at the Crex Visitor Center at 4 pm to prepare to go out to a viewing area to observe Sandhill Cranes coming together to roost. Only on Oct 11 Louise cell 651 231 0453 and Chase 651 246 9754. We do not want the group to leave anyone behind nor wait toooo long for someone whose plans have changed.