First Crane Sighting Contest – 2018
Mike Mack shared this great video of the cranes he sighted on March 17:
Every year we hold the first crane sighting of the season contest. A wonderful prize is awarded to the individual who submits the first photo. Prizes are also awarded for the first sightings in West Moffat, Craig, West Routt, South Routt, North Routt, and Steamboat Springs. This year, we received a record 57 reports! We have really enjoyed viewing all of your submissions! Your reports help us learn more about the Greater Sandhill Cranes in northwest Colorado. This, in turn, helps our efforts to protect the cranes and conserve their habitat.
News Flash March 31, 2018 – Winners Announced
Grand Prize: Iva Decker and her grandson, Charlie Williams
March 3, 4:30 p.m. on Thompson Hill near Loudy Simpson Park in Craig
- West Moffat: Miles Family (Peter & Tamara)
March 5, 5:55 p.m. over Yampa River in Sunbeam, CO
- Craig: Terry Sexton
March 9, 9:20 a.m. near Loudy Simpson Park in Craig
- West Routt: Shawna Wiser
March 11, 11:27 a.m. on RCR 86 along Elkhead Creek
- South Routt: Michele Baxter
March 11, 6:30 p.m., far southern end of Thorpe Mountain, ¾ mile past the inlet to Stagecoach Reservoir
- North Routt: Anna Blakeslee
March 14, at 8 a.m., Fetcher Ranch
- Steamboat Springs: Bonnie Goertz
March 20, 8:45 a.m., CR 42
Here is a summary of all the reports that we received throughout the month of March. Hover over the photos at the bottom of the page to see each photographer’s name or click on the photos to enlarge them:
March 3, 2018 – Iva Decker and grandson, Charlie Williams spotted a pair of cranes at 4:30 p.m. at Thompson Hill just above Loudy Simpson Ball Park.
March 5, 2018 – At 9:09 a.m., Doyle Moon sent us a verbal report of several cranes by his house off Highway 13, north of Craig.
March 5, 2018 – We also received an email report from Ron Kruczek at 4:10 p.m. when he spotted a single crane out by the Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig.
March 5, 2018 – At 5:55 p.m., the Miles family sent us several photos and a great video of a flock of cranes circling their house in Sunbeam, just 6 miles west of Maybell.
March 5, 2018 – That same evening, we received an email from Linda Litteral reporting a dozen cranes flying over Burgess Creek Drive near the base of the ski mountain.
March 9, 2018 – The cranes took a break for a few days, but at 9:20 a.m., Terry Sexton saw two cranes at Loudy Simpson Park.
March 9, 2018 – Just an hour later at 10:30 a.m., both Maryanne Correira and Anna Floeter took photos of three cranes standing in Crooked Creek off of CR 15 in Craig.
March 9, 2018 – At 2:35 p.m., Jim and Lynn Kelley spotted a pair cranes near the entrance to the Yampa Valley golf course in Craig.
March 10, 2018 – At 9:50 a.m., Kevin Copeland reported seeing cranes on Highway 40 on the county line between Moffat and Routt.
March 10, 2018 – Allen Hischke took some very nice pictures of two cranes off Ranney Street in Craig, near the railroad crossing at 2:00 p.m.
March 11, 2018 – At 11:27 a.m., Shawna Wiser spotted a group of cranes about 0.3 miles west in Routt County on CR 86 along Elkhead Creek.
March 11, 2018 – at 6:30 p.m., Michele Baxter sent us a wonderful video of 49 cranes flying over her property on the southern end of Thorpe Mountain, just ¾ miles past the inlet to the Stagecoach Reservoir.
March 12, 2018 – The 12th was a very busy day of sightings, and it all started at 8:00 a.m. when John and Mary Lou Allen snapped a photo of three cranes flying eight miles northwest of Craig on the John Allen Ranch along Big Gulch.
March 12, 2018 – Only 15 minutes later at 8:15 a.m., Jocko Camilletti spotted a group of cranes on his ranch east of Hayden.
March 12 2018 – The same day at 11:00 a.m., Julie and Bruce Adams saw two-dozen cranes on Highway 40 near Highway 14, just beyond Rabbit Ears Pass.
March 12, 2018 – During the morning, we received an email report from Keegan Baird reporting a flock of 40 cranes flying over her house in Yampa.
March 12, 2018 – At 12:33 p.m., Holly Harker saw a single crane at the railroad crossing just west of Hayden on Highway 40.
March 12, 2018 – At 3:00 p.m., Karen Eitel saw a pair of cranes half a mile east of Loudy Simpson Park in Craig.
March 12, 2018 – At 4:18 p.m., Nicole Halone spotted a crane on CR 78.
March 12, 2018 – At 5:21 p.m., Jason Worrell sent a photo of several cranes in a field, just east of Hayden.
March 12, 2018 – Finally, less than ten minutes later, Whitney Holtan sent us a couple videos and a photo of two cranes in a field near Sunbeam at 5:30 p.m.- what a day for the cranes!
March 13, 2018 – At 12:30 p.m., Anne Reed saw a crane at Carpenter Ranch.
March 13, 2018 – Only seven minutes later, Paul Ackerman sent us a picture of a crane near the Hayden Airport.
March 14, 2018 – At 8:00 a.m., Anna Blakeslee photographed a crane on Fetcher Ranch.
March 14, 2018 – A couple hours later at 10:36 a.m., Robert Bruchez saw cranes on his ranch on Morgan Bottom Road.
March 14, 2018 – At 1:08 p.m., Adam Cozzens sent us a lovely photo of a flock of cranes at Lily Park 25 miles west of Maybell near Cross Mountain.
March 14, 2018 – Hollis Hampton took a picture of the cranes near Hayden Airport off CR 51A at 3:30 p.m.
March 14, 2018 – At 5:42 p.m., Albert Deepe spotted cranes at his ranch in Hayden.
March 14, 2018 – About 15 minutes later at 6:00 p.m., Julie and Mike Lang AND Rich Houghton spotted cranes in two different Hayden locations: Julie and Mike sent us a neat photo of a crane taken through a spotting scope on Morgan Bottom Road in Hayden. Rich Houghton saw cranes east of the Hayden Airport off Highway 40.
March 14, 2018 – Stewart Beall also reported a couple crane sightings: one near Yampa River State Park in Hayden, and a second sighting near the Hayden airport.
March 15, 2018 – At 10:00 a.m., Rhonda Stehle spotted them near the Yampa River on Ranney Street in Craig.
March 15, 2018 – Kyle Bond reported a sighting at mile marker 103 on Highway 40 in Hayden.
March 17, 2018 – As a St. Patrick’s Day treat, Mike Mack sent us both a beautiful photo of a crane and a video of a large flock of cranes along the Hayden end of Twenty Mile Road in Routt County, filmed right around noon. Mike’s video is at the top of this page.
March 17, 2018 – Regina Powell and her 10 year-old son, Bennett, sent us a photo taken in the afternoon off Highway 40, just west of Hayden.
March 17, 2018 – Courtney Lowther sent us a photo and video of the cranes by the Hayden Power Station at 7:30 p.m.
March 20, 2018 – Bonnie Goertz sent us a few wonderful photos of the cranes at 8:45 a.m on CR 42.
March 20, 2018 – Henry Howard sent us a video of the cranes by the South Elk River at 5:00 p.m.
March 24, 2018 – Both sightings on this day were by CR 42. Carla Walsh spotted a pair of cranes at 8:40 a.m. on CR 42 by Silver Spur.
March 24, 2018 – Chalsey, Brian, and Luke Hodge snapped a photo of cranes on CR 42 at 6:10 p.m.
March 25, 2018 – Anya Gunn and her son, Charlie, spotted cranes along CR 42 AT 10:30 a.m. Charlie is a previous winner of The First Sighting Crane Contest.
March 25, 2018 – At 3:15 p.m., Linda Casner snapped a photo of the cranes off CR 44.
March 25, 2018 – Lynne Koehler saw the cranes at 4:00 p.m. at Stanko Farm.
March 25, 2018 – At 7:01 p.m., near Willet Farm on Highway 131, just outside Steamboat, Brooke, Stella, and Norah Crofts caught a glimpse of a few cranes.
March 25, 2018 – At 1:15 p.m., Scott Monahan reported seeing a crane flying north on CR 14 by the Sidney School House.
March 26, 2018 – Joan Heimbach sent us a lovely picture of a crane off CR 44C (near Cullin’s Corner where it intersects with CO 129) in a field adjacent to the Elk River.
March 26, 2018 – Janet Feigelson sent us a great video of her “conversation” with the cranes at the bottom of Rabbit Ears Pass at 6:48 p.m. To view the video click here.
March 27, 2018 – The Keller Family submitted a photo of a pair of cranes taken around 8:00 a.m. in South Routt County.
March 27, 2018 – At 1:45 p.m., Adam Fernley sent us another photo of the cranes in South Routt County.
March 27, 2018 – At 5:20 p.m., Brittany Dick snapped a photo of a pair of cranes three miles up Elk River Road from Steamboat.
March 27, 2018 – Morgan and Jeff Greubel sent us a few photos of cranes taken at 6:10 p.m. on the south side of Highway 40 on the west end of Milner.
March 27, 2018 – At 7:38 p.m., Tomas Stone and his 12 year-old daughter, Annabelle, snapped a photo of a pair of cranes just off River Road in Steamboat.
March 28, 2018 – Terry Sexton spotted the cranes again in the morning at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig.
March 28, 2018 – At 11:45 a.m., Hannah Reynolds caught two cranes in a snowstorm on CR 129, at mile 8.
March 28, 2018 – Jenna Keller spotted a crane at CR 52e and Elk River Road in North Routt this afternoon.
March 29, 2018 – At 10:52 a.m., Chris Powers snapped a photo of a trio of cranes off Highway 131 in South Routt County.
March 29, 2018 – At 1:27 p.m., we got a verbal report from Julie Tucek of over 100 cranes across from the entrance of Marabou on CR 42.
March 29, 2018 – Finally, at 3:12 p.m., we received a gorgeous photo from Debbie McCulliss of a pair of cranes off Highway 131 near the Highway 22 intersection.
Thanks to all who shared their crane sightings with us. We hope to see all of you at the 7th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival – August 30 – September 2 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO.