Closed to the public until further notice. More information here.

Crane Tours

Sandhill cranes roost on a sandbar of the Wisconsin River.

Crane Congregations

Leopold would marvel today at the spectacle of the sandhill cranes. Their pre-migration gathering each fall on the Wisconsin River’s sandbars and islands just behind his beloved Shack is captivating. During his lifetime, Leopold noted their diminishing population and feared they would succumb to extinction. However, since their resurgence, 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 southerly journey.

2020 Programs: Virtual Crane Viewing

2020 may have been an unprecedented year for us, but for the cranes, it’s been business as usual. Free from 2020’s pandemic-induced barriers, sandhill cranes are flocking to Leopold Country by the thousands, and we’re committed to sharing the experience with you. This December, we invite you to view the wildlife spectacle in a new way as we bring the sights and sounds of 10,000 cranes right to your living room through free, virtual programs.

Programs will be held on December 8th, 10th, and 15th at 7:00 pm CT. Registrations are required and can be submitted through the link below:

Learn More and Register

Take a sneak peek of Crane Congregations and hear what folks are saying!

Looking for a chance to view the spectacle in person? Join us next fall for an unforgettable experience and learn first hand why Aldo Leopold felt these birds were so majestic. Your participation in programs like Crane Congregations helps the foundation foster care for people, land, and communities through Leopold’s legacy.

For more on the ritual and history of cranes in the area, read Dr. Stan Temple’s blog article What Do You Call a Group of 10,000 Cranes? 

Viewing Opportunities

Crane tours are offered each fall and draw nature lovers, bird enthusiasts, and photographers from near and far. Two in-person tour options will be available for the 2021 season.


Feature photo, top, by Greg Dixon © 2017