2021 First Crane Sighting Contest
Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition (CCCC) is pleased to announce the results of the 2021 First Crane Sighting Contest!
Despite the pandemic, we still received numerous reports of sandhill cranes returning to the Yampa Valley.
The returning cranes were first reported in Moffat County and West Routt County. The first crane sighting was reported on March 13th by Noah Brinkman near Hayden, a little later than in years past. And it wasn’t until the end of March that cranes were reported in South Routt.
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 of the 2021 First Crane Sighting Contest at the bottom of this article.
Here is the summary of the 2021 contest winners by zones and dates:
Noah Brinkman* – on 3/13/2021 at 2:45 p.m. along CR 70 in Hayden
Kathy Simpson*- on 3/14/2021 at 9:10 a.m. on her ranch about 10 miles North of Craig
Joey Chadwick* – on 3/13/2021 at 3:23 p.m. east of Loudy Simpson Park in Craig
Cheryl Jensen* – 3/16/2021 at 4:30 p.m. along Hwy 40 west of Yampa River State Park
No winner – no sightings of cranes were reported for North Routt
Patrick Stanko – on 3/21/2021 at 2:00 p.m. on his ranch west of Steamboat Springs
Adam Fernley – on 3/31/21 at 4:45 p.m. along Hwy 131near the turnoff to CR 20
CCCC appreciates ALL the submissions that we received during the course of the contest. The reports help us learn more about the cranes’ migration patterns and help 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 First Crane Sighting Contest.
March 17- Karen Mack* reported cranes west of Hayden
March 18- Jeff Goncalves* saw cranes in two different areas near Maybell
March 19- Allen Hischke reported cranes near Loudy Simpson Park in Craig
March 20- Karen Mack reported cranes near Juniper Springs in Moffat County
March 21- we had several reports of cranes on this day:
Kyle Monger reported cranes near Hayden
Coleen Camilletti* reported cranes on their ranch in west Routt County
March 22- Harvey Goertz* reported cranes along CR 44 near the Elk River
March 23- Tim Wohlgenant reported cranes just east of Moffat/Routt county line along Hwy 40
March 26- we had two reports:
Greg Rawlings reported cranes near the Yampa Valley Regional Airport
Rodney McGowan* reported cranes south of Hayden
March 28- Suzy Neumann* reported cranes along CR 69A near Hayden
March 31- Elena Reynolds* reported a crane near Oak Creek along Hwy 131
Thanks to all of you who sent in your first crane sightings! We hope to see you at our 10th Annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival September 2-5, 2021.