Monte Vista Crane Festival Celebrates 41 Years of Avian Majesty

Monte Vista, CO – The Monte Vista Crane Festival, Colorado’s premier birding event, is thrilled to announce its 41st annual celebration, set to take place from March 8-10, 2024. Esteemed as the oldest birding festival in the state, this year’s event promises an unparalleled opportunity to witness the majestic Sandhill Cranes on their annual northern migration.

From February through early April, these venerable birds leave their wintering grounds at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Their journey brings them to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge in the San Luis Valley, where they find ideal conditions for roosting and feeding. The festival offers a unique vantage point to observe thousands of cranes as they engage in their spectacular courtship dances, a ritual that includes leaping, bowing, and a distinctive croaking communication.

The Monte Vista Crane Festival is more than a celebration of bird migration; it’s an educational experience dedicated to the conservation of natural lands, wetlands, and watersheds. It serves as a vital platform for bird enthusiasts to connect, share knowledge, and foster a sense of community. The festival’s itinerary is packed with activities, including guided tours, lectures by wildlife experts, live-bird exhibits, photography workshops, and an arts and crafts show, making it a must-visit event for nature lovers of all ages.

Adding to the festival’s allure is the scenic beauty of the San Luis Valley, renowned for its hospitality and the opportunity to observe not only the cranes but also other unique wildlife that calls the area home. In conjunction with the festival, the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce will host its Craft and Nature Fair, featuring an array of local artisans presenting their finest works, from crafted jewelry and fiber ware to photography and carvings, alongside an assortment of fine baked goods and home and garden essentials.

The festival contributes significantly to the local economy, injecting an estimated $3.5 million into the San Luis Valley, including $118,000 in local taxes, thus providing a vital boost during the off-season.

What’s New This Year: For the first time, the festival will offer Spanish language bus tours, ensuring the event is accessible to a broader audience. While these tours are free, tickets must be reserved in advance to secure a spot.

Event Details:

  • Dates: March 8-10, 2024
  • Location: Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, San Luis Valley, Colorado
  • Tickets and Information: Available at

The Monte Vista Crane Festival invites bird lovers, conservationists, and the curious to join in this remarkable celebration. Don’t miss the chance to be part of a tradition that spans over four decades, highlighting the beauty of nature and the importance of its preservation.

For media inquiries, contact:

Amy Engle

Monte Vista Crane Festival Communications