Past Festivals

Open to find maps and viewing times. (.pdf 885 KB)

Take a look at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Monte Vista Nat. Wildlife Refuge ‘Spring Crane Viewing’ brochure (.pdf 885 KB)

2016 Crane Fest Summary
Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 13

Tours

  • Sandhill Cranes Sunrise Tours –bus tour to view hundreds of Cranes: 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Baca National Wildlife Refuge Tour — tour the 92,500 acre Baca NWR – a diverse combination of shrub-lands, grasslands, wet meadows, playa wetlands, and riparian areas.
  • Sandhill Crane Sunset Tours — view Sandhill Cranes heading to roost on the refuge.
  • Valley Raptor Tour –Hawks Aloft — Learn to identify various raptor species.
  • Blanca Wetlands Tour – Bureau of Land Management. Playa Lakes and Wetlands bus tour. Bring lunch and personal gear for a day in the field.
  • Penitente Canyon Tour – Bureau of Land Management. Visit this unique canyon rich in Native American and Spanish history and good birding in pinyon-juniper country.

The Big Year Rated PG. Cutthroat birding comedy starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. Vali 3 Theatre

Other Events

  • Photography Workshops:
    Birder’s Breakfast – Kiwanis Club.
  • Workshop: Dr. Tim Armstrong, Adams State University. “The effects of grazing on small mammals on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge”
  • Workshop: Meg Van Ness, Archaeologisst, US Fish and Wildlife Service.“The Scott Miller archaeological site: 520,000 Tuesdays in the San Luis Valley”
  • Workshop: Gail Barber and Mike Fugagle, Hawks Aloft. “All about Owls”
  • Keynote Speaker, Jim Pfiftzer as Aldo Leopold. “A standard of change” A one-man, one-act play that captures the spirit of Aldo Leopold and delivers iconic conservation messages in a bold and unique way. Donation requested
  • Craft Fair: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

2015 Crane Fest Summary
Friday, March 13 to Sunday, March 14

Tours

  • Sandhill Cranes Sunrise Tours – bus tour to view hundreds of Cranes: 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Ski Hi Building. Donations requested.
  • Sandhill Crane Sunset Tours – View hundreds of Sandhill Cranes heading to roost on the refuge: 4:00 p.m Friday and Saturday. Ski Hi Building. Donations requested.
  • Valley Raptor Tour – Learn to identify various raptor species with guide by Hawks Aloft: 10: a.m. Saturday. Ski Hi Building. Donation Requested.
  • Blanca Wetlands Tour: Bureau of Land Management – Bring lunch and personal gear for a day in the field. 10 a.m. until 2 or 3 p.m. Ski Hi Building. Limited to 16 people.
  • Native Aquatic Species Hatchery Tour – visit the Alamosa, Colorado Parks & Wildlife Facility: 10 a.m. Ski Hi Building. Limited to 40 people. Donation Requested.

Movies

  • The Birds, an Alfred Hitchcock Classic: 7:30 p.m. Friday. Vali 3 Theater. Adults $6, Children $4.
  • Fly Away Home – relax while enjoying a fun and entertaining family movie: 1 p.m. Vali 3 Theater. Adults $6, Children $4.

Other Events

  • Birders’ Breakfast and Bus Tour: 6 – 10 a.m. Saturday. Ski Hi Building. Adults $6, Children $5.
  • Keynote Speaker Dr. George Archilbald of the International Crane Foundation — To the Heights with Cranes: Cranes of the Mountains: 7:30 p.m. Friday. Vali 3 Theater. Donation requested.
  • Jason Beason, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory — Black Swift Research in Colorado.
    The “coolest” bird in Colorado. 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Vali 3 Theater. Donation requested.
  • Angie Krall, Heritage Program Manager, Rio Grande National Forest – Archaeology of the Baca. Discussion and Movie: 2:30 a.m. Saturday. Vali 3 Theater. Donation requested.
  • Craft Fair: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday. Ski Hi Building.