Conserving Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill Cranes and their habitat through science and education.
The Greater Sandhill Crane is an iconic species of the Yampa Valley in Northwest Colorado. Returning in the spring from wintering grounds in New Mexico and Arizona, cranes nest and raise their young in wetland areas throughout the valley. At summer’s end during the peak of their stopover in the Yampa Valley, we present our annual crane festival. The purpose of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival is to educate the public about these ancient birds and to celebrate their presence in Northwest Colorado.
Aldo Leopold, the famous conservationist, wrote in a Sand County Almanac,
“Our appreciation for the crane grows with the slow unraveling of earthly history. His tribe, we now know, stems out of the remote Eocene. The other members of the fauna in which he originated are long since entombed within the hills. When we hear his call we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution. He is the symbol of our untamable past, of that incredible sweep of millennia which underlies and conditions the daily affairs of birds and men.”
Once you have heard the call of a crane, you will remember it forever.
Contests Going on Now
Sandhill Crane Nest Camera
Our Crane Nest Camera has ended for the season. You can still check out the highlight videos and see a summary of this year’s nest camera season.
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
CCCC presents the annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival each fall. The festival occurs in beautiful Northwest Colorado where Greater Sandhill Cranes gather in staging areas to feed before migrating south. Learn more about our festival here.
Our 11th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival will take place September 1-4, 2022. Updates will be posted to our festival page.
Yampa Valley Cranes
Sandhill Cranes breed, raise their young, and stage during the fall in the Yampa Valley of Northwest Colorado. Check out this short video of our Yampa Valley Cranes from breeding through staging:
Greater Sandhill Crane Week
Greater Sandhill Crane Week is March 1-8 and was created to spread awareness of Sandhill Cranes. It is also when Sandhill Cranes start returning to the Yampa Valley for the spring/summer.