Crane watchers gather

By Press Release

The annual Crane Festival was held over the weekend at Fruitgrowers Reservoir in Eckert. Sandhill cranes have been visiting Fruitgrowers Reservoir for a month, but last weekend was the official birding event when members of the Black Canyon Audubon Society and state wildlife officers were on hand to help make an annual crane watching outing a true educational experience. Birders enjoyed the spectacle of sandhill cranes as they landed in the afternoons and took off in the mornings from Harts Basin on their way to northern nesting grounds. Local crane expert Evelyn Horn reported, "We have cranes . . . lots of sandhill cranes. Our total to date is 7,614, give or take a thousand cranes." She added, "When I get to this date, I'm never sure of what date it is! I think it's like mid-March but I'm having such a grand time that I really don't care!" Below is a photo of cranes in water provided by Horn, and a photo by Hank Lohmeyer of the birds-eye view of the watchers.