October 12 & 13 in Calhoun County, Michigan www.cranefest.org
CraneFest was started by a dedicated group of Michigan Audubon volunteers to raise awareness and appreciation of our natural heritage, and to support ongoing educational and conservation projects of the Michigan Audubon. CraneFest is a jointly-operated event between the Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek and Michigan Audubon. The festival site is the Kiwanis Youth Area, overlooking Audubon’s Big Marsh Lake.
A major attraction of CraneFest is watching thousands of Sandhill Cranes return to Big Marsh Lake, a 300-acre wetland that is part of Michigan Audubon’s Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary. The “Fly-In” typically begins around 4 PM, with best viewing of large numbers of cranes between 5 PM and dusk. Typically, between 3,000 and 6,000 cranes are present to greet more the average of 4,000 CraneFest attendees. Peak autumn color usually coincides with CraneFest weekend, and everyone should consider making CraneFest part of their color tour.
Admission is free and parking is $4.
On Friday, October 11, Michigan Audubon will host Richard Crossley, author of the Crossley ID Guides, at the nearby Convis Township Hall. Local food and beverages will be served prior to a presentation and book-signing by Mr. Crossley. For more information, please visit www.cranefest.org.