Lesser sandhill crane. (Wiki-Common)

Lesser sandhill crane. (Wiki-Common)

The Nature Nut

Rosamund Pojar

Geese are already feeding in the wet fields and swans and sandhill cranes are close behind (if not already here).

The cranes that come through the Bulkley Valley are part of a population of approximately 10-12 thousand lesser sandhill cranes, most of which are heading for the shores of the west coast and Bering Sea in Alaska, where they will have their chicks.

On their way north, they will often stage in local wet fields and shallow ponds where they will feed to build strength for the next leg of their flight.

Somewhere between here and the Stikine River estuary they cross the Coast Mountains and then fly up the coast to Alaska. A few pairs are known to stay and breed in places in north-central B.C.

In the fall, the cranes will fly back down to northern California where they spend the winter.