The end of the calendar year means local residents can observe one of Indiana’s great natural spectacles.
The Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area plays host annually to thousands of Sandhill Cranes on their migratory path during the fall and winter months. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says peak season for watching the cranes is mid-November, but they can be seen socializing, eating, and roosting between the months of September and December.
Each year the cranes visit the wildlife areas’ shallow marshes for roosting. According to the DNR, sunrise is the best time to see the cranes in what’s called the goose pasture. Once the sun has risen, the cranes often leave the area to graze on private farmland.
Roosting marshes are closed to the public to protect the cranes, but can be observed from designated points. State officials say sign-in is required at the check-in station before proceeding to the observation areas.