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.

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

Join us each 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. Several tour options will be available for the 2018 season.


2019 Program Dates

Dates will be announced in summer 2019, but typically fall between mid-November and mid-December. Join our email list to be notified when dates are announced and when registration opens. Become a member for an early opportunity to register!



Feature photo, top, by Greg Dixon © 2017