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Sandhill Cranes in California


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#1 Elf

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:47 PM

The San Jose Mercury reports that this is Sandhill Crane season (February) out in central California. It suggests three locations to see them: Cosumnes River Preserve (south of Sacramento off I-5), Staten Island Road, and Isenberg Crane Reserve. I went to Cosumnes this last weekend. Lots of cranes if you have really good binoculars--they are there but staying a good long way away from people and cars. For example, I could see them off Desmond Road (north of the preserve proper) during the afternoon. Around sunset and just after, they swooped in by groups small and large to the ponds directly across from the visitor's center, making their amazing rattling calls as they came in. Mostly silhouettes, but gorgeous against the sunset. I didn't have much time to spend there; a couple of people walking the paths behind the visitor's center said they saw some closer during the day.

 And, if you were lucky, they flew in right overhead. If you were luckier (not me), you'd have your camera on the right settings to catch them as they whipped past. 

 Photo attached.

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#2 Elf

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

Another photo, cranes overhead.

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#3 Bill1969

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:12 AM

You can actually see them much closer in  Woodbridge Rd, Lodi, CA

They come close to the road sometimes..

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#4 Doug Herr

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:57 AM

Bill1969:

You can actually see them much closer in  Woodbridge Rd, Lodi, CA

They come close to the road sometimes..

 

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#5 spookyjimjams

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 04:56 PM

Another good area is the San Joaquin River NWR.  I saw about 50 there a couple of weeks ago.  At a glance, you can also see them on the west side of I-5 at Elk Grove, but of course no stopping!

Another great area (but really out there) is both Tule Lake and the Modoc NWR.  At the Modoc NWR I could get within a few feet of them!



#6 Desertthorn

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

Cibola NWR which technically is in Calif is a wonderful place to see cranes. They were right next to the car

#7 guy_incognito

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:51 AM

I am jealous. In So Cal it seems about the only place to see them is at Salton Sea, but generally from a considerable distance. I've seen them twice now, both times at the south end of the sea at Unit 1 along Vendel Rd.

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#8 ginspin16

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:08 AM

i saw mine at salton sea! i thought there were going to be hundreds, but these were the only ones there that day

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#9 fisherman1313

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:21 PM

Another good area is the San Joaquin River NWR. I saw about 50 there a couple of weeks ago. At a glance, you can also see them on the west side of I-5 at Elk Grove, but of course no stopping!
Another great area (but really out there) is both Tule Lake and the Modoc NWR. At the Modoc NWR I could get within a few feet of them!


Two other good spots for cranes are Merced NWR and the viewing platform on Beckwith Rd. (part of the San Joaquin River NWR west of Modest). The Pelican Nature Trail off of River Rd., south of Hwy 132, is another good spot, although there are not usually as many cranes there as the other locations mentioned. Of course, the've all left the Modesto area so anyone wanting to go look for them at the platform will have to wait until they come back in the fall.

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