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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Properties > Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area > Sandhill Cranes During Their Fall Migration Sandhill Cranes During Their Fall Migration

 

 

 

See one of Indiana's greatest wildlife spectacles at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. Each fall, tens of thousands of sandhill cranes visit J-P's shallow marshes.

 

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Best days
Greater sandhill cranes can be seen at J-P from late September through December. Crane numbers peak in mid-November.

Best bet -- magnificent, noisy flocks are usually seen at the northern Indiana property from mid-October through mid-December.

Best times
Sunrise - Gigantic flocks rise and fly out of roosting marshes to Goose Pasture. The cranes socialize in the pasture for awhile before flying out to feed in surrounding private land (agricultural fields).

Sunset - Beginning about one hour before sunset, flocks of cranes kite into Goose Pasture from all directions. They gab and socialize again before returning to roosting marshes at dusk.

Best place
The crane spectacle is best seen at the Goose Pasture Viewing Area (see map). Roosting marshes are closed to the public. During the day, cranes can be spotted feeding and dancing in nearby harvested farm fields.

Sandhill Crane Count

Oct. 14, 2014 -
This morning was our second official sandhill crane count for the fall migration. Last week, the count was 1256 and this week was 3160.  Typically by mid October, we have 5000 plus cranes. Due to the extremely wet conditions so far this fall, cranes are apparently much more spread out and not concentrating on Jasper-Pulaski. Cranes should continue to arrive through the fall with peak populations in late November or early December.

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For additional information on the whooping cranes see the following Web sites: