Why they migrate
Like any other migratory bird in the northern hemisphere, sandhill cranes fly south to take refuge from the harsh winters in their mating grounds further north. The sandhill cranes seen along Lake Michigan stop off in the fall to rest and eat before taking the rest of their journey.
Where to see them
The cranes migrate to the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife area in Medaryville. This preserve maintains more than 8,000 acres of wetland and woodlands, making it an ideal stop for the 10,000 sandhill cranes that pass through each fall. You can best see them from the Goose Pasture Viewing Area overlooking the water.
When to watch
You can view the cranes anytime during park hours between mid-October and mid-December. The best times of day to see them, however, are sunrise and sunset. Even if you are not a regular birdwatcher, you will marvel in this natural phenomenon.
To plan a trip to South Shore during the fall for amazing bird watching opportunities along Lake Michigan’s southern beaches, call 219-989-7770 or visit SouthShoreCVA.com to learn about vacationing in the area. There are a number of fall festivals and events happening throughout sandhill crane migration season, so you can plan a fun-filled weekend that the whole family will enjoy.