The Ridges Sanctuary

Preservation, Education, and Research

Crane Symposium

Join us in celebration of Wisconsin’s cranes on April 14th and 15th! Together we’ll explore cranes through art, learn why populations have been increasing in recent years, learn about the importance of protecting crane habitat, and have the opportunity to participate in citizen science!  

Keynote Presentation: What Have We Done to Deserve All These Cranes? With Professor Stanley Temple

April 14th @ 6:00 pm-7:30 pm 

In recent years islands and sandbars along the Wisconsin River have hosted ever-growing numbers of Greater Sandhill Cranes as they prepare to depart for their wintering areas. Flocks of upwards of 10,000 birds converge on the stretch of the river above and below the Aldo Leopold’s Shack each fall. That’s a large proportion of the cranes that now nest in Wisconsin. Why has there been such an impressive resurgence in the crane population since Aldo Leopold worried about its impending extirpation 80 years ago, and what attracts all these birds to the vicinity of the Shack? Professor Stan Temple will review the remarkable recovery of Midwestern sandhill cranes, describe their migratory behavior and discuss some of the recent controversies, such as crane hunting, that have attended their new status as an abundant bird. Preregistration is required to gain access to the Zoom link for the presentation.

Location: Virtual via Zoom - Fee: Free

Click here to register. 

Midwest Crane Count

April 15 @ 5:30 am - 7:30 am 

The International Crane Foundation sponsors the Annual Midwest Crane Count as a part of its mission to conserve the world’s 15 species of cranes and the natural communities on which they depend. Observations of Sandhill Cranes can lend insight into threatened crane species, including the endangered Whooping Crane. 

Location: Sites throughout Door County - Fee: None 

Contact Sam Hoffman for more information at (920)-839-2802 extension 108. 

Crane Nest Site Hike with Jane Whitney (PROGRAM FULL) 

April 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 

Join Naturalist Jane Whitney on a hike to a popular crane nesting site to learn about crane nesting sites and what makes the wetlands of Door County the perfect crane nesting habitat. 

Location: Meets at Cook-Fuller Nature Center, 8166 State Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor - Fee: $15 Public | $12 Member | $5 16 & Under 

Symposium Reception with Artist Thomas Jewell and Land Manager Sam Hoffman 

April 15 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

Join us at the Cook-Fuller Nature Center for an afternoon in celebration of Wisconsin Cranes, featuring “Door County Wildlife in Watercolor”, artwork by Wisconsin artist, Thomas Jewell. This exhibit showcases original illustrations from Jewell’s book about a crane, “Tig of the Marsh and Wetland” along with newly completed works of wildlife at The Ridges. At 1:30 pm, Thomas Jewell will give an artist talk on this exhibit and the process of his work. His artist talk will be followed by a presentation by Ridges Land Manager Sam Hoffman, who will discuss past crane count data and the importance of wetland protection in Door County for Midwest crane populations. 

Location: Cook-Fuller Nature Center, 8166 State Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor - Fee: None 

Door County Wildlife in Watercolor: Works by Thomas Jewell 

April 15 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm 

Thomas Jewell brings the wild species of Door County to life with watercolor.  See the Great Horned Owl, Blue Heron, Sandhill Crane, Mighty Buck and others in vibrant color at The Ridges Cook-Albert Fuller Nature Center. This exhibition features new works along with original illustrations from the book Tig of the Marsh and Wetland, a children’s book telling the story of a Sandhill Crane named Tig. An Artist Talk and Reception will be held during the Crane Symposium on April 15th. Works will be on view from April 3rd through May 22nd. All are welcome. 

Location: Cook-Fuller Nature Center, 8166 State Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor - Fee: None

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