View sandhill cranes at Eckert Crane Days

The annual migration of the sandhill cranes is currently underway. The birds migrate through the Western Slope from New Mexico as they make their way to Idaho.

Winter is coming to an end, and that means the cranes are coming.

The annual Eckert Crane Days is March 18-20, and it will give people the opportunity to view the sandhill cranes migrating north from New Mexico through Colorado’s Western Slope.

Representatives from the Black Canyon Chapter of the Audubon Society will be at the viewing site east of Eckert at Fruitgrowers Reservoir each day from 9-11 a.m. to answer questions and provide binoculars and spotting scopes.

More than 10,000 cranes will be migrating from New Mexico to Idaho throughout March, and more than 6,000 cranes already have been reported in the San Luis Valley.

The cranes stop overnight to feed and rest at Fruitgrowers Reservoir and generally start taking off between 10 and 11 a.m. the morning after they arrive. Viewers are asked to remain at the viewing site or along the road and to not approach the birds.

On Saturday, March 19, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologist Daniel Neubaum will give a presentation on the diverse species of bats that inhabit Colorado.

The presentation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Eckert Presbyterian Church on Colorado Highway 65.

Neubaum has studied bats across the western United States for 17 years and is in the final year of a three-year inventory of bats and their roost sites in the area.

To reach the crane-viewing site, go east on Colorado Highway 92 at Delta to Colorado 65. Go north six miles to the Big E Market, then turn east on North Road to Crane Point. Viewers are asked to park at the parking lot or off the highway along North Road.


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