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Sandhill Crane Migration Happening Now
Updated November 2, 2014 12:17 PM
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(UNDATED) - The annual feathered spectacle of the Sandhill Crane migration is happening now.

Thousands of the cranes flock to Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area each fall. They come for the nature preserve's shallow marshes to stopover as they migrate to the south for the winter. They can also be seen in Jackson County at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge and in the fields along Hwy. 31, just west of the refuge.

This year, the current count at the preserve is at almost 6,000 cranes. Over 10,000 cranes are expected to stop at Jasper-Pulaski from October to December, with the peak viewing time in the middle of November.

Each fall, thousands of birds migrate south to their wintering grounds. Most travel unnoticed, but when sandhill cranes are overheard, they are hard to miss. These large birds have wingspans of six to seven feet, but it's their rolling calls, which can be heard over a mile away, that makes folks look skyward.

They fly much like geese, in a V formation, and soon there will be some 10,000-30,000 of them in flocks overhead.

They are leaving their nesting grounds in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and southern Canada to winter in much more hospitable southern states.



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