Birds’-eye view: Win contest by spotting 1st greater sandhill crane to return to Yampa Valley | CraigDailyPress.com

Birds’-eye view: Win contest by spotting 1st greater sandhill crane to return to Yampa Valley

Craig Press staff report

Greater sandhill cranes will soon fill the Yampa Valley with their distinctive calls.

CRAIG — The return migration of the greater sandhill cranes to the Yampa Valley has begun. Cranes are leaving their wintering homes in New Mexico and Arizona and heading north.

“We can expect the first arrivals here in the Yampa Valley sometime during the first or second week of March,” said Nancy Merrill, president of the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition. The CCCC is set to presents the annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, and the organization is again sponsoring a “First-Crane-Sighting-of-the-Season” contest.

“Document your sighting of the first greater sandhill crane spotted in your area of the Yampa Valley by emailing your photo or video to coloradocranes@gmail.com. Include the date, time and location of your sighting, as well as your name and any other pertinent details,” Merrill said. “A prize will be awarded to each individual with the photo of the earliest sighting in West, North, and South Routt County areas, plus Steamboat Springs, Craig and West Moffat County.”

In addition to those prizes, a grand prize will be awarded for the overall earliest sighting in the entire Yampa Valley.

Winners and photos will be announced at the end of March at coloradocranes.org.