Safe journey

Photo by Craig Sanders

Farewell to our friends, the sandhill cranes.

The birds began leaving this area in early February, crane expert Gary Ivey reports. Almost all of the greater cranes will be gone by the first of March, while some lessers may linger until mid-March.

He notes that some years have seen increasing numbers of cranes lingering in February, with some moving south to the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge where they fly around, building up muscle for the trip up to Alaska.

So time is short if you want to see a crane this year. Then again, Ivey notes, they’re always somewhere — you could catch up with your friends at the Scharff Migratory Bird Festival in Burns, Ore., or the Othello Crane Festival in Othello, Wash., in early April.

Heck — why not a trip up to Homer, Alaska? A festival is held there each May.

“They are taking spring to Alaska and will bring fall to the Valley again next year,” Ivey writes.

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    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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