WHAT: Return of the Cranes Celebration
WHEN: November 15th and 16th | 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Open Space Visitor Center | 6500 Coors Blvd NW between Montaño and Paseo del Norte at the end of Bosque Meadows Rd.
CONTACT: Jodi Hedderig | Parks & Recreation Dept., Open Space Division | 505-897-8831 | email@example.com | www.cabq.gov/openspace. The Open Space Visitor Center prepares 24 acres of agricultural fields as wintering grounds for a variety of migratory birds including Sandhill cranes. The Rio Grande Valley area has been and continues to be the ancestral winter home of both the Sandhill crane (Grus Canadensis) and the Whooping crane (Grus Americana). On any given day, up to 400 cranes can be observed foraging for food in the fields while hawks, kestrels and eagles hunt for food from the sky. These animals are charming to watch as they posture and assert their dominance or as they play in courtship. They keep close tabs at an onlooker rarely at a distance closer than 40-50 feet so it is wise to bring binoculars. Join us on November 15th and 16th to celebrate their show-stopping and graceful presence with a variety of events designed to complement and celebrate the cranes’ arrival.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
10am: Local Naturalist will discuss the life history of cranes. Learn about their journey over miles and time.
1:30 pm & 3:00 pm: “Love in the Bosque”, the original musical play by Phil Bock. A story of love, jealousy and deception told by a family of Sandhill cranes with a supporting cast of coyote, duck and goose.
4:00 pm: Enjoy the beautiful sounds of flutist Bonnie Schmader on the back patio as the sun drops away from the day and the cranes prepare to return to the river for the evening. Bring a blanket and/or chairs and a cooler for a late day picnic on the lawn. Bring a blanket and enjoy our musical venue. Special extended hours for this event until 6:00 p.m.
9:00am: Guided bird walk into the Bosque.
11:00am: “Raptors of the Rio Grande Valley”, presentation and live birds from Hawks Aloft. 2:00pm: Renowned wildlife photographer, Jerry Goffe will show slides and discuss his experiences photographing Sandhill cranes and other wildlife. Bringing this appreciation for nature and love of animals closer to home, he is not only associated with Albuquerque Open Spaces, as well the Rio Grande Nature Center, but is a volunteer, guide and photo instructor at Bosque Del Apache, NWR. Jerry hones his skills photographing a wide variety of images under the clear blue New Mexico skies, plus leads photographic tours to Alaska and Costa Rica every year.