Sandhill Crane Pair
Nature,  Travel,  Wildlife

Jasper-Pulaski Sandhill Crane Migration

Each November, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate to the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife area in Northwestern Indiana. Each evening thousands of these birds fly into the same field in the wildlife area and each morning thousands of birds fly out of the area to forage in the nearby corn fields. There is a viewing platform in the park for use by birders and photographers.  This area is the best place to photograph the birds as they fly in and out in the morning and evening. It can also be beneficial to check the neighboring fields for birds after they fly out in the morning.

Sandhill Crane Pair

This is a goldmine for wildlife and bird photographers. There were over 11,000 birds there when we visited on the third week of November. Here are few tips for photographing these beautiful birds at the Jasper-Pulaski wildlife area.

Jasper-Pulaski Sandhill Crane Photography Tips

  • Bring a long lens, at least 400mm. If you have a teleconverter that allows you to retain autofocus, I would bring that as well.
  • Bring a tripod. You will probably be standing on the platform for hours waiting for or photographing birds. The stability of the tripod will also help to get better focus on your photos.
  • Bring plenty of compact flash or SD cards. There are so many birds and photo opportunities, you’ll be surprised how many photos you will take.   Also think about how you will back up your images. A portable hard drive or laptop could be used to back up your valuable images.
  • Dress warm. November in Indiana can be cold, especially in the mornings and evenings. The wind can also be pretty strong coming across the open fields.  Dress in layers and bring gloves and a hat.
  • Get to the platform early. During the peak migration times the platform can get very crowded especially on the weekends. While there will be some activity throughout the day, the best times are in the morning and evening.
Sandhill Cranes 5 in Flight

Additional Information on Jasper-Pulaski

This is one of the country’s premier locations to witness the Sandhill Crane migration. Don’t miss out on this fantastic photo opportunity. For more information, here is a link to the Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area website.  Scroll halfway down this page to get the current Sandhill Crane Count at Jasper-Pulaski Wildlife Area.

Written by Martin Belan

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