Sandhill Cranes

Arriving in Homer each year, roughly in time for Earth Day (April 22nd), no Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival could be complete without acknowledging these iconic birds. Kachemak Bay locals know the trumpeting call of arriving cranes means spring has come at last!

Kachemak Crane Watch’s films offer a unique perspective of crane behavior

Fast Facts

Crane courtesy of Judy Hller

Height: 3-4 feet
Weight: 6-12 pounds
Wingspan: 6-7 feet
Lifespan: 20-40 years

Look for cranes in meadows, fields and marshes. Around Kachemak Bay, they can often be seen around Beluga Slough, Mariner Park lagoon, or in your own backyard!

Listen to Sandhill cranes in flight

Audubon Conservation Status: Most populations stable or increasing, but vulnerable to loss of habitat, especially at major stopover points for migrants.

Photo right by Judy Heller
Thumbnail photo be Jennifer Fogle Smith

Sandhill Crane Poetry Corner

Steve Schoonmaker is a fisherman who splits his time between Kachemak Bay and the Copper River Delta. He is a favorite at the annual FisherPoets’ Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, but you may have heard Steve’s poetry during the “Concert on the Wing” event at the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival.

Want more bird poetry? Check out Audubon Alaska’s Bird Poetry Corner!