Sandhill Crane Migration

Majestic flocks of sandhill cranes can be observed in northern Jasper County and the surrounding areas from late September through December, generally peaking in mid-November.

About the Sandhill Cranes

  • Stand three to four feet high

  • Long, slender necks and legs

  • Wingspans that can exceed five feet wide

  • Generally gray in color

  • Adult cranes have a distinctive red crown and pale white cheeks

  • Younger cranes have a reddish cast to their feathers

Where to view the migration

The best place to view them en masse is Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. Tens of thousands of cranes visit the area's shallow marshes each year. View the cranes from an elevated platform equipped with telescopes at the Goose Pasture Viewing Area. 

Best viewing times

  • At sunrise, when the huge flocks fly out of their roosting marshes to Goose Pasture, where they will socialize for a while before heading out to the local farm fields to feed

  • About an hour prior to sunset, when the flocks head back into Goose Pasture before returning to the roosting marshes

Viewing tips at Jasper-Pulaski

  • Best spot for viewing is the Goose Pasture Viewing Area’s elevated platform

  • Dress for the weather 

  • Bring a pair of binoculars

  • Restrooms and a shaded picnic area are available nearby

Spotlight South Shore