Sandhill Crane surveys – 2024

In 2024 our club undertook a greatly expanded series of surveys for Sandhill Cranes in the southern portion of the Douglas Lake Plateau. Thousands of cranes stop over in this area on their northward spring migration and the importance of this area for cranes was one of the primary reasons for the establishment of the Douglas Lake Plateau Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA). Cranes are also a key consideration as this area is assessed as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA).

A portion of the flock of Sandhill Cranes on the Douglas Lake Ranch on 15 April 2024. Photo: Opal Charters

In previous years we have made one or a few field outings to view and count the cranes. In 2024, with funding from the BC Nature IBA/KBA program, we did twice-daily surveys (morning and evening) through the migration period. The goals were to get a better information on: the total number of cranes using the area, the chronology of their spring migration and the areas most used by the cranes. The funding allowed us to hire a contractor, who lives in the survey area, to cover the weekday surveys and our club volunteers covered the weekends.

Overall, we counted over 11,500 cranes passing through the area. You can see our full report here: 2024 Sandhill Crane Report

Sandhill Cranes on the Douglas Lake Ranch – 24 April 2024. Photo: © Leanne Cleaveley
This entry was posted in Features, Photos. Bookmark the permalink.