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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Hunting & Trapping > Properties > Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area > Sandhill Cranes Fall Migration Sandhill Cranes Fall Migration

Sanhill Cranes on marsh

View one of Indiana's greatest wildlife spectacles at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. Each fall, thousands of Sandhill Cranes visit the area's shallow marshes.

Sandhill CranesBest days

Sandhill Cranes can be seen at Jasper-Pulaski from late September through December. Crane numbers peak in mid-November. Magnificent, noisy flocks are usually seen at the northern Indiana property from mid-October through mid-December.

Best times

Sunrise: Gigantic flocks rise and fly out of roosting marshes to Goose Pasture. The cranes socialize in the pasture for awhile before flying out to feed in surrounding private land (agricultural fields). Sunset: Beginning about one hour before sunset, flocks of cranes kite into Goose Pasture from all directions. They gab and socialize again before returning to roosting marshes at dusk.

Best place

The crane spectacle is best seen at the Goose Pasture Viewing Area. Roosting marshes are closed to the public. During the day, cranes can be spotted feeding and dancing in nearby harvested farm fields.

Sandhill Crane count

Dec. 16, 2014: Our crane count this morning was 9,175. Cranes also continue to use the Wheatfield area. This will be our last posted count for the 2014 fall/winter migration. Very likely, some cranes will stay throughout the winter, especially in the Wheatfield area. North bound cranes will begin arriving in late January, peak in late February or early March, and will be gone from JP by April 1.

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Additional crane information: