First Crane Sighting Contest
Our annual First Crane Sighting Contest starts in mid-late February as Sandhill Cranes start arriving in the Yampa Valley. The first person to spot a Sandhill Crane in the Yampa Valley and to document their sighting with a photo or video can submit their entry as part of this contest. Prizes are given to the first sighting in West Routt, North Routt, South Routt, Steamboat Springs, Craig, and West Moffat.
2022 First Crane Sighting Contest Results
Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC) is pleased to announce the results of the 2022 First Crane Sighting Contest!
This year we received 58 sightings of Sandhill Cranes in the Yampa Valley!
The returning cranes were first reported in Moffat County and then west Routt County. The first crane sighting on March 13 was a little later than in previous years.
In addition to the Grand Prize (given to the person who spots and documents the very first crane seen in the Yampa Valley), the First Crane Sighting Contest awards a prize to each individual with the photo or video of the earliest sighting in West Routt, North Routt, South Routt, Steamboat Springs, Craig and West Moffat.
Entries with an asterisk (*) indicate that a photo is included in the photo gallery below.
Here is the summary of the 2022 contest winners by zones and dates:
Chandler Shoemake. 3/13/22 at 11:46 am. Report cranes in a field at the cross of Water Plant Road and South Ranney Street in Craig
Rita Donham. 3/15/22 at 3:30 pm. Reported 60+ cranes flying in a loose “V” formation at relatively high altitude near Sunbeam, CO northwest of Craig.
Mia Gustafson. 3/13/22 at 2:20 pm. Reported cranes along Highway 394 in Craig by the airport.
Jack Moorman. 3/17/22 at 5:00 pm. Reported cranes off of Highway 40 near Yampa River State Park.
Davey Baron. 3/27/22 at 11:00 am. Reported cranes at Sand Mountain Cattle Company basking with the horses.
Emily La Rosa. 3/18/33 at 1:07 pm. Reported cranes southeast of Steamboat on Highway 40.
Joanna Riley. 3/28/22 at 7:00 pm. Reported cranes in the marsh area near the inlet of Stagecoach.
CCCC appreciates ALL the submissions that we received during the course of the contest. The reports help us learn more about the areas cranes use as they return to the Yampa Valley and about when they are returning every year. This contest helps us with our mission of conserving and protecting Greater Sandhill Cranes and their habitat in Northwest Colorado. While we are unable to post all of the photos and videos that we received, we do want to recognize all those who sent in crane reports during the course of the contest. Listed below are all the other participants in the 2022 First Crane Sighting Contest.
March 13 at 1:30 pm – Kathy White reported cranes over her house in Craig
March 13 at 5:43 pm – Shara Cole* reported cranes at the golf course in Moffat County
March 15 at 1:19 pm – Johanna Chadwick* reported cranes heading south on Ranney Street in Craig
March 15 at 3:10 pm – Chap Meyers reported cranes east of Ranney Street just north of Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig
March 15 at 3:15 pm – Kathy White reported cranes on Ranney Street by the bridge and Yampa River in Craig
March 16 at 3:20 pm – Michael Mack reported cranes just west of the Yampa Valley Golf Course in a field near Craig
March 18 at 10:15 am – Allen Hischke reported cranes in a hay field west of the Craig airport
March 18 at 6:11 pm – Janet Hawkins reported cranes near her house in Hayden
March 19 at 7:30 am – Susan Koehler reported cranes in Hidden Springs subdivision southwest of Hayden
March 19 at 10:00 am – Neilene Folks reported cranes on Highway 318 by Little Snake River in Moffat County
March 19 at 2:00 pm – Shara Cole reported cranes along Highway 40 flying over Earl’s Ranch west of Hayden
March 19 at 5:20 pm – Debbie Doolin reported cranes on CR 65 in Hayden
March 21 at 1:15 pm – Ruth Wertenberger reported cranes in Hayden
March 21 at 4:30 pm – Linda Bertram reported cranes just north of Hayden
March 21 at 6:25 pm – Tyler Hockaday reported cranes on CR 30 in Moffat County
March 22 at 8:25 am – Megan Walker reported cranes outside of Yampa River State Park
March 22 at 9:00 am – Troy Wertenberger reported cranes on CR 70 (Morgan Bottom) near Hayden
March 22 at 10:50 am – Neil Bonney and Cami Knackstedt reported 3 cranes near Yampa River State Park near Hayden
March 25 at 3:13 pm – Steve Riley reported cranes at Hogue Ranch west of Steamboat Springs
March 25 at 4:05 pm – Jeff Fry reported cranes on the road from the Hayden race track to CR 27
March 25 – Rita Donham reported cranes at the Stanko Ranch near Steamboat Springs
March 26 at 9:00 am – Jason Musser reported cranes at Sunbeam Ranch near Maybell
March 26 at 11:30 am – Aiden Antonacci*, 10 years old, reported cranes near Yampa River State Park and another 2 crane pairs east of Hayden
March 26 at 1:00 pm – Mike Baird* reported cranes at Hogue Ranch west of Steamboat Springs
March 27 at 8:34 am – Anna Goertz, a teenager, reported cranes on Sherrod Ranch on CR 44 (Anna is our only teenager to report cranes!)
March 27 at 12:51 pm – Jan Stanko reported cranes in the Stanko Ranch hay meadow near Steamboat Springs
March 27 at 4:00 pm – John Saul reported cranes on Riverside Drive near Steamboat Springs
March 28 at 11:00 pm – Mona Gibson* reported cranes on CR 54 in North Routt
March 28 at 3:00 pm – Begee Biggs reported cranes west of Yampa River State Park
March 28 at 3:00 pm – Anne Reed reported cranes at the Carpenter Ranch near Hayden
March 28 at 4:30 pm – Glenn and Margie Patterson reported cranes on CR 44 near the Elk River bridge
March 28 at 5:30 pm – Doug Smith reported cranes near Highway 40 and CR 42
March 28 at 3:30 pm – Mike Lozano reported cranes at Warhorse Ranch north of Sleeping Giant Mountain
March 29 at 7:30 pm – Christy Bubenheim reported cranes on CR 129 near Elk River Estates
March 29 at 7:45 am – Jackie Johnson reported cranes on CR 129 just north of Steamboat Springs
March 29 at 11:00 am – Erin Campbell reported 10-12 cranes near the airport in Hayden
March 29 at 11:30 am – Elena Reynolds reported cranes near Rocky Mountain Pet Resort in Yampa
March 29 – Anna Tappan and her son* reported cranes on CR 42 near the roundabout near Steamboat Springs
March 30 at 11:35 am – Lee Cox reported cranes at Humble Ranch along River Road near Steamboat Springs
March 30 at 3:40 am – Adam Fernley and his daughters Hazel and Frances Fernley reported one crane pair near MacArthur’s pond in South Routt
March 30 at 5:30 pm – Jeff Nashlenas* reported cranes at Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area near Steamboat Springs
March 30 at 8:30 am – Ivy Johnson reported cranes along CR 14 near Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area
March 31 at 1:00 pm – Glenn and Margie Patterson reported cranes along CR 44 in the Elk River Valley near Steamboat Springs
March 30 at 4:00 pm – Kelly Keith reported cranes on Hwy 14 near Steamboat Springs
March 31 – Kassie Vesely* reported cranes near MM 49 on CR 129
April 1 at 4:45 pm – Elizabeth Heckmann reported cranes near Humble Ranch near Steamboat Springs
April 1 at 6:30 pm – Cheyenne Naylor* reported cranes on CR 14 near Steamboat Springs
April 3 at 7:20 am – Ashley Johnson reported cranes in the field near the intersection of Hwy 131 and Hwy 40
April 3 at 2:50 pm – Penny Hamilton reported cranes on CR 129 near Steamboat Springs
April 1 at 4:00 pm – Ken Babcock reported cranes along Sarvis Creek in South Routt
April 4 at 3:50 pm – Annabelle Stone reported cranes along River Road near Steamboat Springs
Thanks to all of you who sent in your first crane sightings! We hope to see you at our 11th Annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival September 1-4, 2022.