The Aldo Leopold Foundation will be closed to the public Nov 1st – Feb 28th. Specialty programs and facility rentals will still be available on a limited basis. Learn more about visiting us!

Crane Congregations

Aldo Leopold would marvel today at the spectacle of sandhill cranes gathering each fall on the Wisconsin River’s sandbars just behind his beloved Shack. The Aldo Leopold Shack and Farm has become the region’s premier vantage point to experience the incredible sights and sounds as the cranes congregate by the thousands before commencing their annual migration.

Looking for a chance to view the spectacle in person? Join us this fall for an unforgettable experience and learn first hand why Aldo Leopold felt these birds were so majestic. Take a sneak peek of our Crane Congregation Tour and hear what folks are saying!

Viewing Opportunities

Crane tours will be held Tues-Sun starting Nov 9th. Registration will open on Sept, 2nd. Masks will be required within all indoor spaces during the program. Two types of in-person crane tours are offered.

*Standard Tours (Tues-Wed, $35/person)

We invite you to spend an evening with our education and land stewardship fellows to experience the phenomena of crane congregations! The experience will begin with an interactive family-friendly presentation that will reveal the history and wonder of sandhill cranes, followed by an open-air wagon ride to our crane blind situated on the banks of the WI River.  From the blind you will witness  upwards of 10,000 cranes congregating on the shores. This slightly condensed tour lasts about two and a half hours. Participants are welcome to bring their own snacks and water bottle.



* Premium Tours (Thurs-Sun, $70/person)

Join us for a premium crane tour. The experience will begin with a presentation from world-renowned bird expert  Dr. Stan Temple, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  This presentation will orient individuals to the history and behaviors of the sandhill cranes.  An open-air, rustic ride through the floodplain will bring guests within a short walk of the large viewing blind situated on the bank of the Wisconsin River within the Leopold-Pine Island Important Bird Area. The blind affords ample space to observe the incredible phenomenon of congregating cranes. This experience runs for about four hours and ends shortly after sunset.

*Optional: Join us for a complimentary tour of the Leopold Shack and Farm one hour before the program for the full experience! These tours are only open to premium crane tour participants.

Select Tickets HERE


* Virtual Tours (Dec 13th, 15th, 16th, FREE)

Not able to join us in person this year? No worries, The Aldo Leopold Foundation will be hosting it’s second year of virtual crane tours! Enjoy the marvel of 10,000 sandhill cranes from the comfort of your own home. World-renowned bird expert  Dr. Stan Temple, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin – Madison will be your virtual guide during this FREE 1 hour event. Programs will be held from 7:00pm-8:00pm on demio. Registration will be available Nov 1st.

Frequently Asked Questions

Considering joining us, but have some questions? Consult our handy FAQs.