Sandhill Crane monitoring in the Douglas Lake Plateau

Sandhill Crane monitoring in the Douglas Lake Plateau Important Bird Area – courtesy of the Kamloops Naturalist Club

Rick Howie, a member of the Kamloops Naturalist Club, has provided us with instructions on how best to monitor the Sandhill Crane migration. He has also created a recommended route map along with the data forms to record your sightings. The annual migration through the Kamloops-Merritt area is approximately from April 1 to May 15.

Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis) migrate across the Douglas Plateau in spring and fall with a small number of breeders scattered across the plateau during the summer months. An estimate of 22,000 – 25,000 birds use this route.

The provincial IBA program coordinator, Liam Ragan, has expressed interest in conducting surveys for cranes and species at risk within the Douglas Lake Plateau IBA. The importance of the area to Sandhill Cranes was instrumental in having the area declared an IBA in the first place.

The following suggestions for methods to survey Sandhill Cranes are provided in order to help kick-start the survey process. Anyone may participate. Complete one or both of the forms below.  The completed data forms can be submitted through e-mail to Rick Howie ( by May 15. 

For an overview of Sandhill Cranes in the Douglas Lake Plateau, download this document. On page 5 is a map of  suggested locations.

Crane Monitoring

If you want to observe from one location, download this form.

Standwatch Site Form

If you want to follow a driving route, download this form.

Crane driving route form

Here is an example of a completed form.

For more information on the Nicola Naturalist Society’s role in monitoring the Douglas Lake Plateau Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA) click here

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