Yampa Valley Crane Festival Logo

2015 Yampa Valley Crane Festival: Saturday

Saturday, September 12, 2015 (All day)
  • Community-wide

The fourth annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival takes place September 10-14, 2015, in Steamboat Springs and Hayden.

The festival includes five days of mostly free events and the Bud Werner Memorial Library is festival headquarters.The detailed 2015 Yampa Valley Crane Festival schedule is available here.

Below is a quick guide to festival events for Saturday. Note that most events are free some activities, including crane viewing shuttles and events with limited space, will require advance registration and a nominal, non-refundable registration fee. These events are noted in the schedule and online registration opens on August 1, 2015.

Saturday at the Yampa Valley Crane Festival:

6:15 – 8 a.m.
Guided sunrise crane viewing with festival keynote speaker Paul Tebbel at a location to be announced. Shuttles leave promptly at 5:45 a.m. from the Stockbridge Transit Center. Please arrive a few minutes early to get checked in for shuttles.
** Advance registration and $5 non-refundable fee required for shuttle.

8:30 – 10 a.m.
Guided bird walk at The Nature Conservancy’s Yampa River Preserve in Hayden led by Ted Floyd, author, birder extraordinaire and editor of Birding magazine, and members of the Yampa Valley Birding Club. Open to all.

9 – 10:30 a.m.
Wildlife Photography Workshop taught by Gerhard Assenmacher and Abby Jensen.  Open to anyone with an interest in wildlife photography who owns a camera. This classroom workshop will be held in the 2nd floor Conference Room of the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Participants should bring one of their photos for discussion.
** Advance registration and $10 non-refundable registration fee required. Limited to 15 participants.

10 a.m. – Noon
Optics display on the Library Lawn: A hands-on way to check out the newest technology in binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras with Leica and Mogil’s on the Mountain.

10 a.m. – Noon
Guided nature/bird walk at the top of Thunderhead on the Steamboat Ski Area. This event includes a complimentary gondola ride with spectacular views over the Yampa Valley. Walk will start at 9,080 feet in elevation on a mostly flat, but uneven and unpaved, trail. Meet at entrance to the gondola in Gondola Square. Please bring drinking water, wear sunscreen, and don’t forget your camera and binoculars.

10 a.m. -  4 p.m.
HawkQuest's live raptors:  A live hawk, owl, falcon and eagle will be on display on the Library Lawn. Visit with the raptors and learn about these amazing birds of prey.

10:30 a.m. – Noon
“Bird as Sign and Symbol:  Writing a Nature Journal” with Ellen Bonnifield. Taking cues from poetry and nature, this workshop designed for adults of all levels of writing experience combines basic techniques of field observation with descriptive power of language. Participants will experience at least three writing activities to develop elaborative language for self-expression through nature imagery. Wear clothing appropriate to the weather as we will be outdoors for part of our experience. Meet in Library Hall.
** Advance registration and $10 non-refundable fee required. Fee includes a “Write-in-the-Rain” notebook. Number of participants is limited.

10:30 a.m. – Noon
Crane Costumes led by BookTrails in the Library Storytime Room. Designed for ages 5 – 8. Join us to learn about cranes and the different parts of their bodies and how they work. We will create crane hats and pretend we’re cranes! Students will also learn the basic biology of cranes, their flying habits, and other fun facts.

11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
John Fielder's Gallery Show open at The Depot.

12:15  – 1 p.m.
Screening of the film Cranes of the Rockies in Library Hall. This film focuses on the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes and was produced by Colorado videographer Michael Bennett.

1 – 4 p.m.
Crane yard art display and silent auction on the Library Lawn. Bid on a crane or family of cranes to take home with you to grace your lawn. All cranes have been decorated by talented local artists and VIPs and all proceeds benefit the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Keynote Speaker in Library Hall: Paul Tebbel, crane biologist, former director of Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte River in Nebraska, and currently Executive Director of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in California, presenst “The Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes.” Paul will share his extensive knowledge of crane behaviors, vocal and body language, and conservation issues.

2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
“Bird Identification: Starting Over,” a talk by Birding magazine editor and birder extraordinaire Ted Floyd in Library Hall. Following Ted’s talk you will have an opportunity to purchase his books, the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Colorado and Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Of course, Ted will be happy to sign your books.

4:30 – 8 p.m.
Barbecue dinner, talk, and guided crane viewing. Dinner will be held at The Nature Conservancy’s historic Carpenter Ranch in Hayden. You are welcome to come for all or part of the event. Provide your own transportation (car-pooling highly recommended) or register for a seat on the shuttles.

4:30 p.m. Shuttles depart Stockbridge Transit Center in Steamboat and arrive at the Carpenter Ranch at approximately 5 p.m. Please arrive a few minutes early to get checked in for shuttles.
** Advance registration and $5 non-refundable fee required for shuttle.

 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner prepared by the Routt County Cattlewomen or bring your own picnic dinner. If you are a vegetarian, please bring your own food. Complimentary water, soft drinks and dessert will be provided to all attendees.
 ** Advance registration and $15 payment required ONLY if you are purchasing a BBQ dinner.
6:15 – 6:45 p.m. Presentation by The Nature Conservancy Senior Conservation Ecologist Chris Pague.

6:45 p.m. Shuttle leaves the Carpenter Ranch for guided crane viewing with festival keynote speaker Paul Tebbel and wildlife biologist Van Graham. Private vehicles are welcome to follow the shuttle to the viewing site. Car-pooling is highly recommended to reduce our footprint.

8:45 p.m. (approx.) Shuttles arrive back at the Stockbridge Transit Center.

All day
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

About the Yampa Valley Crane Festival
The Greater Sandhill Crane is an iconic species of the Yampa Valley. Returning in the spring, cranes nest and raise their young in wetland areas throughout the valley. In late summer and early fall, hundreds of cranes from the Rocky Mountain flock join the local birds to rest and feed before continuing their journey south. The festival includes daily crane viewings, expert speakers, films, art exhibits, workshops, family activities and more. All community activities and events are free unless otherwise indicated in the program, and the Bud Werner Memorial Library will be home base for many of these talks, films and events.

Learn more about the festival at www.coloradocranes.org.