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2016 Yampa Valley Crane Festival: First Crane Sighting of the Season Contest

Sunday, February 28, 2016 (All day)
  • Community-wide

The fifth annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival takes place September 8-11, 2016 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden.

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 will include daily crane viewings, expert speakers, films, crane art, workshops, family activities, a live Owls of the World display at the library and more. Daily schedules will be announced mid-summer..


Flying Crane


The Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition is sponsoring a 2016 First Crane Sighting of the Season contest.

The return migration of the Sandhill Cranes begins in late winter. Cranes leave their wintering homes in New Mexico and Arizona and head north. Many will stop to rest for a short time in the San Luis Valley at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Some may make a brief stop in the Eckert/Delta area south of Grand Junction. We can usually expect the first arrivals here in the Yampa Valley sometime during the first or second week of March.

Send in your photo to win! Document your sighting of the first Sandhill Crane spotted in the Yampa Valley.Email it to coloradocranes@gmail.com or snail mail it to CCCC headquarters at 40625 County Road 69A, Hayden, CO 81639. Include your name, plus the date, time and location of the sighting.

A fabulous prize will be awarded to the individual with the photo of the earliest sighting. And, at the end of March the winner’s name and photo will be posted on the Yampa Valley Crane Festival's official web site. (Photo pictured here courtesy Gerhard Assenmacher)

About the festival sponsor
The Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and preservation of Sandhill Cranes in Colorado -- and lead organizer for the Yampa Valley Crane Festival each fall.