Birds of the Western Slope Mar. 1, 2017
By Evelyn Horn
Published Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:54 am
Lesser sandhill crane
coming soon to a
reservoir near you!
It is that time of year, and the Crane Hotline will be up and running on March 1. Our Greater Sandhills of the Rocky Mountain Population will soon pass through Hart's Basin Reservoir (also known as Fruitgrowers Reservoir).
Several people have told me of cranes seen in our area, and it always thrills me! Confluence Park, Olathe, Hotchkiss and Hart's Basin were all mentioned. And soon they'll be arriving at the Basin in large numbers. Our Crane Days Celebration is scheduled for March 17,18 and 19.
Our birds are of the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhills and number about 20,000. In contrast, the Lesser Sandhills number about 500,000. Some of us think that ours are more important! And we have festivals to celebrate their presence: Bosque del Apache in New Mexico is usually the week-end before Thanksgiving, then Monta Vista's is the first weekend of March, our Crane Days is March 17-19, and the festival in Steamboat Springs is Sept. 5-8.
In fact, most folks don't even know about our festival for the Greater Sandhills, but images of the Lessers seem to be everywhere! Unless you are very lucky, you'll never get to see Greaters and Lessers side by side. I have ONE slide taken by Ellie Tunget of this rare sighting. When the Lessers are in Monte Vista, a few of them (apparently lost!) may migrate with our Greaters and thereby provide us with such an unusual view.
Again, our Crane Days Celebration is March 17 through 19. There will be members of the Black Canyon Audubon Society on the causeway and at the top of the hill (Crane Point) on those mornings with information and free handouts for the public. We do hope for lots of marvelous cranes and plenty of visitors too!
My phone (970-835-8391) will serve again as our hotline. Please feel free to call and if I don't answer, leave your name and a phone number. I will call you back.