2015 Crane Festival – Brief Summary
2015 Festival Activities
- Daily guided sunrise and sunset crane viewing sessions
- Crane Coloring Contest Award Ceremony for elementary students
- Educational displays about cranes and their habitat on display throughout the festival
- Guided bird walk at Green Creek Ranch led by Ted Floyd, birder extraordinaire and editor of Birding magazine, Susan Dorsey, Executive Director of Yampa Valley Land Trust, and members of the Yampa Valley Birding Club
- Wine and cheese reception and Gallery Show with nature photographer John Fielder at the Eleanor Bliss Center for the Arts at the Depot in Steamboat
- Crane yard art display and silent auction on the Library Lawn
- Family activities, dessert, and crane viewing at the Yampavian Ranch in Hayden
- Guided bird walk at The Nature Conservancy’s Yampa River Preserve in Hayden with Ted Floyd and members of the Yampa Valley Birding Club
- Optics display on the Library Lawn
- Wildlife Photography Workshop taught by Gerhard Assenmacher and Abby Jensen
- Gondola ride and a guided nature/bird walk led by botanist Karen Vail on the Steamboat Ski Area
- HawkQuest’s Live Raptors. A live hawk, owl, falcon and eagle were on display on the Library Lawn
- “Bird as Sign and Symbol: Writing a Nature Journal” led by Ellen Bonnifield
- Children’s Crane Activity for ages 5 – 8 led by BookTrails in the Library Storytime Room
- Barbecue dinner at The Nature Conservancy’s historic Carpenter Ranch in Hayden including a talk by The Nature Conservancy’s Senior Conservation Ecologist, Chris Pague and followed by guided crane viewing
- Guided bird walk with Ted Floyd and the Yampa Valley Birding Club on The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch
- Historic Carpenter Ranch homestead tour led by Betsy Blakeslee, TNC’s Facilities Manager
- Horse-drawn wagon tour of the TS Jost “crane friendly” working ranch in Hayden, CO
- Sketch-A-Crane/Sketch-A-Raptor workshop with plein air artist Chula Beauregard
- Guided birding by pontoon boat at Stagecoach State Park
- Crane code writing for ages 7 – 10 led by BookTrails at the Library
- Photography Contest award presentation in Library Hall
- Little Crafters Storytime for ages 2 – 5 with Children’s Librarian Sarah Kostin
2015 Festival Speakers
- Keynote Speaker, Paul Tebbel, crane biologist, former director of Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte River in Nebraska, and currently Executive Director of the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in California, presented “The Private Lives of Sandhill Cranes.” Paul shared his extensive knowledge of crane behaviors, vocal and body language, and conservation issues with us.
- “Bird Identification: Starting Over” was presented by Birding magazine editor and birder extraordinaire Ted Floyd. It was followed by a book signing of Ted’s latest book, the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Colorado and the Smithsonian Guide which covers the U.S. and Canada.
- “Birds of Prey” was presented by Kin Quitugua, a master falconer, long time environmental educator, and founder of HawkQuest to educate the community about the importance of different raptor species, their specially-adapted tools, and their role in our ecosystems. In this participatory program, students observed the unique tools of the owl, the incredible talons and six-foot wingspan of the eagle, the aerodynamic features of the falcon, and the precision flying of a free-flying hawk.
- “Yampa Valley Cranes” was presented by wildlife biologist and expert on the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes, Van Graham.
2015 Festival Films
- Winged Migration was a stunning visual documentary of the migratory patterns of birds, filmed from a bird’s-eye view. It was filmed over the course of three years on all seven continents.
- Cranes of the Rockies focused on the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes and was produced by Colorado videographer Michael Bennett.
- A Fledge for Freedom by Nina Faust was filmed at the Kachemak Crane Watch in Homer, Alaska. It was about the challenges of raising a crane colt and teaching it to fly.
- Raising Kid Colt followed the adventures of a young Sandhill Crane and his parents over two summers at the Kachemak Crane Watch in Alaska. It was produced and narrated by Nina Faust.
2015 Festival Sponsors and Partners
Abby Jensen Photography, Alpine Lumber, Book Trails, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Ciao Gelato, City of Steamboat Springs, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Gerhard Assenmacher Photography, Hayden High School, Klauzer & Tremaine, Mogils on the Mountain Photoshop, Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, Steamboat Springs Arts Council, The Nature Conservancy, Tom Thurston at Stagecoach Marina, U.S. Forest Service, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Yampa Valley Birding Club, Yampa Valley Electric Association, Yampa Valley Land Trust, Yampatika
The fourth annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival was held September 10 – 14, 2015 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, Colorado.