These birds are a big sign of hope for me. It is a time of indecision and uncertainty in my little family. The return of the cranes is something I didn't think I would be here to see, but here I am. They make me feel hopeful. Time isn't linear, it moves in circles. The good we plant comes around again. I am so happy to witness the return of these big beautiful birds. They'll be here a few months before heading north to Oregon or Canada to their summer nesting grounds. Maybe by the time they leave I will be following them on my own migration.
Here is a video compiled from photos and video taken over the last year. Listen to the sound of thousands of cranes circling. The cranes arrive in the San Luis Valley sometime around Valentine's Day, stopping here after leaving their wintering grounds at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near Socorro, New Mexico. They will be here for a couple months before they fly north for the summer. They stop here again in October and November on their way back south with their new young in tow. Most of these cranes are greater sandhill cranes as opposed to the famous flocks of lesser sandhills on the North Platte in Nebraska.