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Yampa Valley Crane Festival gives opportunity to learn about and see local birds

Nancy Merrill
Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition

The 10th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival takes place in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Craig, September 2-5. As part of the festival, the award-winning documentary film “The Nature Makers” will be shown for free on Wednesday, September 1 at 7 p.m.at West Twin Cinema in Craig.

Most festival events are free and open to the public including all festival speakers that will be presenting at the Bud Werner Library in Steamboat Springs:

  • Thursday, Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. “Why We Love Cranes” by Paul Tebbel, wildlife biologist and crane expert.
  • Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6:30 p.m. “Canaries in the Mine: 3 Billion Birds Lost. Can we get them back?” by Arvind Panjabi, avian conservation scientist for Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
  • Friday, Sept. 3 at 12noon. “From Birder to Birder Murder” by Steve Burrows, award-winning birder murder mystery writer. (Talk and book signing)
  • Saturday, Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. “The Secrets of Nesting Sandhill Cranes Discovered Through a Live-stream Camera” by Erin Gelling, Program Director for Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition.
  • Saturday, Sept. 4 at 1:30 p.m. Keynote Talk: “Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation” by Dr. Richard Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation
  • Sunday, Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. “Colorado Natives” including live raptors, reptiles and amphibians by Nature’s Educators.

Some festival events with limited numbers do require registration. The following events that require registration still have openings:



  • Guided sunrise crane viewing shuttles – Let crane expert, Paul Tebbel take you to where the cranes gather so that you can experience the cranes in their natural environment. Paul will explain the behavior, physiology, and family connections of these amazing birds as you watch them feed, socialize, and dance in the fields.
  • Loudy-Simpson Bird Walk — Bird walk at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig, led by Forrest Luke and Allan Reishus.
  • Tour de Cranes – Bike a portion of the Yampa River Core Trail with knowledgeable guides who will explain about the cranes and the Crane Art found along the trail. B.Y.O. bike.
  • Butterfly/Dragonfly/Critter Walk – with Ted, Andrew, and Hannah Floyd. Discover all kinds of organisms that abound at The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch.
  • Cranes and Crawford Critters: A Guided Walking Tour – Join Marianne Capra for a fascinating walking tour around downtown Steamboat focusing on the historic Crawford family and their pet cranes as well as other early Steamboat wildlife stories and encounters.
  • Nature’s Educators Live Raptor Photo Shoot – Join Nature’s Educators and wildlife photographer Chris Becea for this unique opportunity to take photos of live raptors up close in their natural setting. Open to photographers at all levels.
  • Nature-journaling workshop – Join writer Ellen Bonnifield and artist Cindy Wither as they share techniques to enhance your nature journaling experience.

The full festival schedule with details about each event can be viewed at: https://coloradocranes.org/2021-festival-schedule/ Direct questions to info@coloradocranes.org.


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