NEWS RELEASE Contact: Myrna Krueger, President
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
Sandhill Cranes Arriving at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
Thousands of sandhill cranes are already staging at the refuge for the upcoming migration south and more are arriving daily. From mid-October to early November the refuge hosts thousands of these prehistoric birds as they roost overnight in refuge wetlands, and then fly out to area croplands to forage during the day. The peak number of cranes observed in one day typically exceeds 10,000 individuals and is a sight to behold!
If you would like to visit the refuge to see the cranes, the best time of day is dawn or dusk when the cranes are leaving or returning to their roost sites. If you’re not an early riser, driving the county roads to scout for groups of cranes in recently harvested farm fields is another option. A sandhill crane fact sheet and map with information about the best crane viewing areas is available at the refuge website, fws.gov/refuge/sherburne/
Want to learn more about Minnesota’s tallest bird? Keep an eye on the refuge website for information about virtual programming. These Facebook Live programs will focus on the life history of cranes, how staff estimate the crane numbers using weekly counts and self-led viewing opportunities.
Friends of Sherburne Host Virtual Sandhill Celebration Fundraiser
The sandhill cranes are real, with hundreds already gathering at the refuge before they make their way south. The Sandhill Celebration, however, is virtual – and YOU are invited to participate by "purchasing" your favorite symbolic gala dinner item for the cranes to enjoy!
From a gift of symbolic "grasshopper gratinée" for $25 to a symbolic plate of "fresh snail hors d'oeuvres" for $500, a donation to this pretend potluck celebration is a real opportunity to support the refuge and the Friends in a year when the usual live events and fundraising opportunities have all been cancelled.
"Party favors?" you ask? Yes! If you contribute $25 or more, not only will you be joining the Friends or
extending your membership, but you will also receive a custom-designed Sandhill Celebration bandana as a thank you!
Donations provide funding to support the refuge in providing education to children in nature’s classroom,
furnishing information and facilities for refuge visitors, supporting expanded online opportunities to learn about the refuge and ensuring that future refuge events remain free and open to all.
Check out all the fun and GIVE NOW at Give.classy.org/SandhillCelebration
In 2019, nearly 15,000 cranes were counted in one day during a refuge count. Plan your visit to see these amazing birds and celebrate their annual autumn visit to our area! Photo: Bruce Ellingson/USFWS
Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that nurtures an
appreciation for and the conservation of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge through education, volunteerism and philanthropy.