Posted by: atowhee | October 16, 2020


The wintering Sandhill Cranes have returned to Sauvie Island and Ridgefield NWR. Thousands more are much further south, in the inland valleys of California–Sacramento, Carrizo, Salton Sea. Oregonian birder Abert Ryckman just sent me these photos from the Sacramento River Delta. I had advised him that Woodbridge Road, just north of Hwy 12 intersection with I-5, is usually a sure thing this time of year.
His note: “Amazing.  Not a single Crane in the Sacramento NWRs or visible in any fields anywhere. Per your recommendation  we got on Woodridge Road and started driving West…. Suddenly when we got to the Woodbridge Reserve we could see literally hundreds of SHC hanging around with lots of geese in a huge open water filled field. Only a few were near the road and thereby accessible for photographs + terrible light.”

Earlier Ryckman got some shots of waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley:


  1. Just wondering if your comment regarding Cranes at Carrizo is based on personal experience – ? I ask because it’s been my understanding that since the large ranches in that area have stopped growing grain crops (no water allotments), the historic population of over-wintering Cranes have moved elsewhere. Thanks.

    • I haven’t been there recently, best check with San Luis Obipso Audubon folks

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