The Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival takes place on November 5 and 6


LODI – The Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival returns to Lodi’s Hutchins Street Square on Saturday November 5 and Sunday November 6

The event’s popular wildlife tours begin Friday, November 4 and run through Sunday, November 6. Reservations are highly recommended as tours fill up quickly. For a list of tours, including seat availability and fees, visit

Although a range of wildlife tours are planned during the festival, organizers from the Lodi Sandhill Crane Association (LSCA) want to assure the public that Sandhill Cranes will be in the Lodi area in February, with plenty of options for local viewing.

The spectacular birds can be seen throughout ‘crane season’ at area refuges and many naturalist-led tours are available. Details are available on the LSCA website.

Sandhill Crane Festival activities at Hutchins Street Square – including speakers and presentations, art exhibition, exhibit hall, silent auction and merchandise sales – are free and open to the public on Saturdays and Sunday from 10 a.m.

Featured at this year’s Sandhill Crane Festival is the photography of Garry Everett. His photo of a dancing sandhill crane titled “Happy Feet” was featured in CFS 2022 promotional materials, including commemorative shirts and posters.

Everett will be sharing more of his work at the Festival.

As part of the annual celebration, the Lodi Sandhill Crane Association also hosts the LSCA Student Art Exhibition throughout November. Student work will be exhibited at the Lodi Public Library and the Lodi Community Art Center. Both sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday to Sunday of the Festival weekend.

LSCA is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. Those interested in membership or volunteer opportunities are encouraged to visit the LSCA website at

Famous for its courtship dance, the sandhill crane is one of the largest migrating cranes in North America according to the Audubon Society. Its wingspan can reach nearly seven feet wide and it can stand up to four feet tall.

The width of the crane’s wings makes it a spectacular soaring bird that can be compared to raptors. It uses thermals in the sky to fly and can stay in the air with little flapping. The sandhill crane is an incredibly ancient species, one fossil found was 2.5 million years old, which is more than one and a half times older than the earliest remains of most living bird species.

Sandhill cranes can be found near large freshwater marshes, prairie ponds, swampy tundra during summer, and on grain fields or grasslands during migration and winter. Its range in the Pacific Flyway extends from Siberia and Alaska to the Central Valley of California. The sandhill crane’s courtship dance is spectacular. Facing each other, members of a pair leap into the air with wings spread and feet thrown forward. Then they bow to each other and repeat the performance with croaking cries. Court birds also run with outstretched wings and toss tufts of grass into the air.

Greater sandhill cranes were once common breeders throughout the intermountain west, wintering primarily in the Central Valley of California. However, their populations have drastically declined due to unregulated hunting and loss of habitat as the region was colonized. They died out as breeders in Washington in 1941, when only 150–200 pairs remained in Oregon. In California, the breeding population was reduced to less than five pairs in the 1940s. Fortunately, all sandhill crane populations have increased since the 1940s, and by 2000 there were approximately 465 pairs breeding in California. Nevertheless, much of their historic range remains vacant, and the population remains well below historic numbers.

California, in particular, is unique in being home to the Central Valley population of sandhill cranes which overwinter in agricultural fields and suitable wetlands in the Central Valley and breed in northeastern California. , as well as parts of Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. mostly on private land. The Central Valley sandhill crane population remains low, with population recovery hampered by the lack of directed conservation, despite the potential for habitat restoration and agricultural land management that could greatly benefit this population.


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