The 24th Annual Festival of the Cranes will take place on the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico November 15-20, 2011. This popular birding festival, which celebrates the annual return of huge flocks of Sandhill Cranes, promises to be better than ever. Socorro, New Mexico is about 100 miles south Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sandhill Cranes are an ancient species with a fossil record that goes back 2.5 million years. These birds look prehistoric too and they seem to delight the imagination of all observers. Sandhill Cranes fly south for the winter and congregate in flocks of more than 10,000 birds!
The festival will feature workshops, lectures, fieldtrips, birding from horse back, and even a cruise on a houseboat! Topics will include Sandhill Crane behavior, duck ecology, digital photography, bird banding, songbirds, and other birds of the refuge. This year keynote speakers will be Dr. Travis Perry, a mountain lion researcher, and the infamous Mark Obmasclk, author of "The Big Year."