Crane Festival Detailed Schedule – 2014

The third annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival will be held September 12-15, 2014 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, Colorado. It will include four days of free events thanks to donations from people like you and our wonderful sponsors, partners, and volunteers.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library at 1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO will once again serve as headquarters for the festival. Click here to view locations of all other festival venues.

All events are free but please note that shuttles for crane viewing and a few other events require advance registration because of limited space available. These events are noted in the schedule. Please click on the Registration pull-down to register.

To view or print the Schedule-at-a-Glance click here. Print in landscape mode to fit on 1 page.

Thursday, September 11

6 – 8 p.m.
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

6:15 p.m.
Elementary school crane coloring contest award ceremony in Library Hall with prizes from Ciao Gelato.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Screening of the film Crane Song in Library Hall. Crane Song is a stunning visual essay of the sandhill crane’s migration through Nebraska, weaving together striking images and majestic sounds of the birds’ journey with the stories and insights of the individuals who observe these creatures, as well as landowners endeavoring to ensure a habitat that is welcoming to the cranes. Last year’s keynote speaker, Michael Forsberg, is featured in the film.

Friday, September 12

3 – 4 p.m.
“Introduction to the Birds of Steamboat”: A guided bird walk led by Birding magazine editor and birder extraordinaire, Ted Floyd along the paved Walton Creek Trail. Bring binoculars if you have them. Open to anyone interested in learning about birds.  Meet at the River Creek Park parking lot on the corner of Walton Creek Road and So. Lincoln Ave. (US Hwy 40). Walton Creek Road is at the first traffic light as you enter Steamboat from the south or the last traffic light as you leave Steamboat from the north or west.

4 – 8 p.m.
Crane yard art display and silent auction on the Library Lawn. Come bid on a crane or family of cranes to take home to grace your lawn. All cranes have been decorated by talented local artists and VIPs and all proceeds benefit the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, presenters of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Proceeds help us keep this wonderful festival free.

5 – 8 p.m.
Wine and cheese reception at the Steamboat Art Museum featuring the juried, travelling “Birds in Art 2013” show from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about one of the most prestigious bird art shows in the country.** The reception is free for festival attendees but requires advance registration to ensure enough refreshments for everyone.
***Birds in Art 2013 at the Steamboat Art Museum – July 19 – Sept. 15, 2014. Dates and hours have been extended to accommodate crane festival guests.

All day
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

Saturday, September 13

6:15 a.m.
Sunrise crane viewing at a site to be announced. Shuttle 1 (crane viewing only) will depart the Stockbridge transit center in Steamboat at 5:45 a.m. and return at approximately 8:45 a.m. Suggested donation $5/person. Shuttle 2 (crane viewing and bird walk) will depart the Stockbridge transit center in Steamboat at 5:45 a.m. and return at approximately 10:15 a.m. Suggested donation $5/person.
** Advance registration required for shuttle.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Guided bird walk at The Nature Conservancy’s Yampa River Preserve in Hayden with Ted Floyd, birder extraordinaire and editor of Birding magazine.

9:00 – 10a.m. and 5 – 6 p.m.
Wildlife Photography Workshop taught by Gerhard Assenmacher and Abby Jensen. Free and open to anyone with an interest in wildlife photography who owns a camera.

  • Classroom session: 9 – 10+ a.m. in the 2nd floor conference room of the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Participants should bring one of their photos for discussion.
  • Field session: 5 – 6 p.m. Location to be announced.

** Advance registration required. Limited to 15 participants. Suggested donation $10/person.

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Family activity day for crane enthusiasts of all ages. Activities will be held in Library Hall, the Storytime Room, and outside on the Library Lawn including crane-related games, crafts, crane dancing, binocular skills, a crane-calling contest, educational displays and much more. Fun for the entire family.

10 a.m. – Noon
Optics display on the Library Lawn: A hands-on way to check out the newest technology in binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras with Leica and Mogil’s on the Mountain.

10 a.m. – Noon
Guided nature/bird walk at the top of Thunderhead on the Steamboat Ski Area. This event includes a complimentary gondola ride (approx. 9 minutes) with spectacular views over the Yampa Valley. Walk will start at 9,080 feet in elevation on a mostly flat, but uneven and unpaved, trail. Meet at entrance to the gondola in Gondola Square. Please bring drinking water, wear sunscreen, and don’t forget your camera and binoculars.
** Advance registration required. Number of participants is limited.

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
“Birds in Art 2013” show from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Steamboat Art Museum. Click here to learn more about one of the most prestigious bird art shows in the country.

2 – 4 p.m.
Crane yard art display and silent auction on the Library Lawn. Come bid on a crane or family of cranes to take home with you to grace your lawn. All cranes have been decorated by talented local artists and VIPs and all proceeds benefit the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, presenters of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Proceeds help us keep this wonderful festival free.

3 – 4 p.m.
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Richard Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation will present “Cranes: Ambassadors for Conservation”. Rich has a wealth of knowledge about cranes and conservation that he will share with us in Library Hall. For more information about our keynote speaker, please click on the Speakers and Workshop Leaders tab.

4:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Barbecue dinner, bird walk, and ranch house tour at The Nature Conservancy’s historic Carpenter Ranch in Hayden followed by guided crane viewing. You are welcome to come for all or part of the event and can provide your own transportation or register for a seat on the shuttle.

  • 4:30 p.m. Shuttle departs Stockbridge Transit Center in Steamboat and arrives at the Carpenter Ranch at approximately 5 p.m. Suggested donation $5/person.
    ** Advance registration required for shuttle.
  • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner prepared by the Routt County Cattlewomen or bring your own picnic dinner. Complimentary water, soft drinks and dessert will be provided to all attendees. ** Advance registration and payment required for BBQ dinner.
  • 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. Guided bird walk on the Carpenter Ranch with birder extraordinaire and editor of Birding magazine Ted Floyd. Bring binoculars or just your enthusiasm.
  • 5:15 – 5:45 p.m Guided tour of the historic ranch house led by The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch Facilities Manager, Betsy Blakeslee.
  • 6:45 p.m. Shuttle leaves the Carpenter Ranch for guided crane viewing with wildlife biologist and expert on the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes, Van Graham. Private vehicles are welcome to follow the shuttle to the viewing sight. Car-pooling is highly recommended to reduce our footprint.
  • 8:45 p.m. (approx.) Shuttle arrives back at the Stockbridge Transit Center.

All day
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

Sunday, September 14

6:15 a.m.
Sunrise crane viewing at a site to be announced. Shuttles will depart the Stockbridge transit center in Steamboat at 5:45 a.m. Shuttle 1 will return to Steamboat immediately following crane viewing and should arrive at approximately 8:45 a.m. Following crane viewing, Shuttle 2 will transport attendees to a coffee shop in Hayden and then to the ranch tour. It will return to Steamboat at approximately 10:45 a.m. Suggested donation for shuttle: $5/person.
** Advance registration required to reserve a seat on the shuttle and for the complimentary ranch tour.

8 – 9 a.m.
Dutch treat coffee and scones at the Wild Goose Coffee Shop in Hayden for attendees on Shuttle 2 and those providing their own transportation.

9 – 10 a.m.
Horse-drawn wagon tour of the TS Jost “crane friendly” working ranch in Hayden, CO. Belgian draft horses, Pat and Barney, will transport us around the ranch while the ranchers give an explanation of their operation and how agriculture and conservation can operate hand in hand.
** Advance registration is required as space is limited. Attendees taking the shuttle should register for Shuttle 2. Those using their own transportation can register for just the ranch tour.

10 – 11 a.m.
Sketch-a-crane workshop taught by plein air painter Chula Beauregard.Chula will provide all supplies and all ages are welcome to take part in this free workshop in Library Hall.

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Birding by Pontoon Boat at Stagecoach State Park. Enjoy a birding tour by boat along the shores of Stagecoach Reservoir. Although Sandhill Cranes may not be visible, plenty of other birds and wildlife should be. The tour will be led by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife naturalist and all ages are welcome. Life jackets will be provided. Please bring drinking water, sun block and your camera and binoculars. The boat tour is free but all vehicles entering the park are required to display a valid Colorado State Parks pass. (Daily pass available for $7 at park entrance.)
** Advance registration is required as space is limited.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Birding by Pontoon Boat at Stagecoach State Park. Please see write-up above.
** Advance registration is required as space is limited.

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
“Birds in Art 2013” show from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Steamboat Art Museum. Click here to learn more about one of the most prestigious bird art shows in the country.

11:15 a.m. – Noon
Screening of Raising Kid Colt in Library Hall. This film by Nina Faust follows the life of a sandhill crane family at the Kachemak Crane Watch in Homer, Alaska.

12:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Conclusion of crane yard art silent auction on the Library Lawn. Don’t miss your chance to take home a unique crane or family of cranes to grace your lawn. All cranes have been decorated by talented local artists and VIPs and all proceeds benefit the Colorado Crane Conservation Coalition, presenters of the Yampa Valley Crane Festival. Proceeds help us keep this wonderful festival free.

12:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Last chance to purchase festival merchandise.

1 – 1:45 p.m.
“Everything you ever wanted to know about Rocky Mountain Greater Sandhill Cranes” will be presented by wildlife biologist and expert on “our” cranes, Van Graham. Van will be leading crane viewing sessions on Saturday evening and Monday morning.

2 – 3:30 p.m.
“Learning about birds in the digital age: Lessons from Northwest Colorado” will be presented by Birding magazine editor and birder extraordinaire Ted Floyd in Library Hall. Following Ted’s talk you will have an opportunity to purchase his latest book, the ABA Field Guide to Birds of Colorado. Of course, Ted will be happy to sign your book.

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Screening of Cranes of the Rockies in Library Hall. This film focuses on the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes and was produced by Colorado videographer Michael Bennett.

All day
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

Monday, September 15

6:15 a.m.
Sunrise crane viewing with wildlife biologist and crane expert Van Graham. Shuttles will depart the Stockbridge transit center in Steamboat at 5:45 a.m. and return at approximately 8:45 a.m. Suggested donation $5/person.
** Advance registration required to reserve a seat on the shuttle.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
“Coffee, Cranes, Conservation and Conversation.” An informal dutch treat coffee talk with ICF President and CEO, Richard Beilfuss at the Egg and I in Steamboat.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“Birds in Art 2013” show from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Steamboat Art Museum. Click here to learn more about one of the most prestigious bird art shows in the country. This is your last chance to visit the show before it leaves Steamboat.

10:30 a.m.
Little Crafters Storytime with Children’s Librarian Sarah Kostin in the Children’s Storytime Room at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Children, ages 2 to 5, are welcome with a parent or caregiver. They will listen to a story about cranes and stay for a simple craft based on that story.

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Roundtable discussion focusing on water usage and crane habitat. Learn about the impacts of a changing water world on cranes in the Yampa Valley, in the San Luis Valley, and in areas around the world. The discussion will be moderated by U.S. Forest Service Hydrologist Liz Schnackenberg in addition to the following panelists:

  • Richard Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation. Rich is a leader in the emerging field of environmental flows, which focuses on managing water flows to sustain rivers, wetlands, and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems.
  • Geoff Blakeslee, The Nature Conservancy’s Yampa River Project Director and 6 year member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
  • Scott Miller, Wildlife Biologist for the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges (a major staging area for the Rocky Mountain Population of Greater Sandhill Cranes).

Bring your questions and your lunch.

1:45 – 2:30 p.m.
Naturalist Evey Horn will present a talk on the highly endangered Whooping Crane including the screening of the film Hope takes Wing. The talk and the film will describe Operation Migration, a project to teach new migration routes through the use of ultra-light aircraft to captive-bred Whooping Cranes.

6 – 8:15 p.m.
Sunset crane viewing at a site to be announced. Shuttles will depart the Stockbridge transit center in Steamboat at 6 p.m. and return at approximately 8:15 p.m. This is your last chance for guided crane viewing. Suggested donation $5/person.** Advance registration required to reserve a seat on the shuttle.

All day
Educational crane displays outside Library Hall.

Festival Store

Crane-themed merchandise will be for sale in Library Hall during the following hours:

  • Thursday: 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Saturday: 2:45 – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12:45 – 3:45 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you at the festival.