MONTE VISTA, Colo. -- The beautiful and iconic sandhill cranes are making their way back to Colorado and the region as they begin their spring migration.
A flock of cranes was recently photographed by Kimmie Randall in Monte Vista. She says the birds primarily winter in New Mexico and migrate back to the Platte River in Nebraska, their primary breeding ground. Along their way, they stop off for a few weeks at the National Wildlife Refuge in Monte Vista, where up to 20,000 of the birds can be found.
The primary nesting areas for the Rocky Mountain population of Greater Sandhill Cranes include Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Routt, and Rio Blanco Counties, according to Coloradocranes.com.
A festival to celebrate the arrival of the cranes to Monte Vista is planned this Friday and includes tours and a photography contest.