October 8-9, 2016
Come to the Sandhill Crane and Art Festival and listen to the prehistoric calls of thousands of Sandhill Cranes against Michigan’s backdrop of autumn colors. The typical daily “fly-in” on Big Marsh Lake and the adjoining 900-acre Baker Sanctuary in usually starts about 4 p.m., with the waves of cranes peaking about dusk.
More than 9,400 Sandhill Cranes counted in October 2014, setting a new single-day state record — at Baker Sanctuary. Saved from the brink of extinction, Michigan’s largest bird, measuring up to 5 feet tall with a 6-to-7-foot wingspan, is an environmental success story.
The Sandhill Crane and Art Festival was founded to raise awareness and appreciation of our natural heritage, and to support ongoing educational and conservation projects of the Michigan Audubon Society and Baker Sanctuary. CraneFest is jointly-sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek and Michigan Audubon. The festival site is the Kiwanis Youth Area, overlooking Big Marsh Lake.
During the Sandhill Crane and Art Festival, the work of some of Michigan’s top professional artists will be displayed and on sale.
Birding Festival Organizer
The Michigan Audubon Society is the oldest and most effective conservation organizations in the state, protecting more then 3,500 acres of important wildlife habitat in 19 sanctuaries in the upper and lower peninsulas. The non-profit organization is a partner in the Important Bird Areas program which protects bird habitat needed to sustain threatened and endangered birds.
Michigan Audubon Society Conservation Efforts
The mission of the Michigan Audubon Society extends beyond conservation to connect birds and people through education and research efforts in Michigan. The organization has over 2,000 individual and business members, and 41 active local chapters statewide that sponsor a variety of research and data collection projects. These projects include the Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas, the Michigan Winter Bird Feeder Survey, the Michigan Christmas Bird Count, the North American Migration Count, and the Michigan Bird Records Committee.
Michigan Audubon Society and the Kirtland’s Warbler
Once living on the brink of extinction, the Kirtland’s Warbler has benefited from a variety of conservation efforts of the Michigan Audubon Society. The species remains on State and Federal Endangered Species lists. Areas protected and conserved by the Michigan Audubon Society include rivers, lakes, marshes, bogs, fens, grasslands, hardwoods, and northern conifer forest communities.
These protected lands serve not only as a refuge for many species of wildlife, but also to preserve a wide range of Michigan’s valuable natural resources. These lands also are focal points for many kinds of recreation, education, and research activities.