First Crane Sighting Contest – 2016
Every year we hold the first crane sighting of the season contest. A wonderful prize is awarded to the individual who submits the first photo. Click here for contest details.
News Flash 4/1/16 – Winner Announced
This year’s winner, Carol Bolt, spotted cranes off of US 40 just a few miles west of the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and submitted the photo she took at 5:22 p.m. on March 4. Less than 20 minutes later, at approximately 5:40 p.m., Karl Koehler spotted cranes near Hidden Springs Ranch in Hayden.
The next few days were very busy for crane arrivals and sightings. We received numerous emails, phone calls and photos. Hover over the photos on the right to see each photographer’s name or click on the photos to enlarge them. Here’s a summary of all of the reports we received throughout the month.
March 5, 2016 – Kristin Mortenson’s son, Wyatt, spotted a pair of sandhills in Murphy’s field off of US 40, approximately 1/4 mile west of the Yampa River State Park at 7:30 a.m. He was a passenger in a car and didn’t have a camera but he called his mom who then took a picture just before 8 a.m. and submitted it to us. They closed their email with “WE LOVE SANDHILLS!!!!”
March 5, 2016 – Jocko Camilletti sent a photo from his phone of 5 cranes flying over his ranch in Hayden at 8:52 a.m.
March 5,2016 – Tom Litteral and Linda spotted a crane at 10:10 a.m. along Morgan Bottom road (RCR 70) and submitted a photo via email.
March 5, 2016 – Jan Leonard saw 2 cranes flying over the Wyman Museum and took a photo of a crane near the Moffat/Routt County line a few minutes later at 2:20 p.m..
March 5, 2016 – Sharon Jost submitted a photo taken at 5:15 p.m. on her ranch along RCR 70 (Morgan Bottom Road). Another photo taken at 5:18 showed 14 cranes.
March 5, 2016 – Karen Melton spotted cranes west of Craig, CO at mile marker 74.
March 6, 2016 – David Moulton submitted a photo of a pair of cranes on Morgan Bottom Road at 11:01 a.m.
March 7, 2016 – Ron Kruczek saw 5 cranes across the river from Craig. One pair was wading in the flooded marsh off the west end of the Moffat County airport and the other 3 were in a field about 200 yards east of Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig.
March 7, 2016 – Selina Kostur submitted photos taken from RCR 70 (Morgan Bottom Road) at 7:13 a.m. of cranes on the river.
March 8, 2016 – Annette Z. spotted 2 pairs of cranes and submitted photos taken near the Yampa River State Park.
March 9, 2016 – John Sundberg submitted photos taken at 4:45 p.m. along US 40.
March 11, 2016 – Albert Deepe sent a video of cranes taken on his ranch in Hayden at 10 a.m.
March 11, 2016 – Nancie Mccormish saw a single adult about 2 p.m. just south of Hwy 131 on Yellow Jacket Pass.
March 12, 2016 – Kindra Jazwick submitted a photo of a pair of cranes along RCR 76 in Hayden at 4:30 p.m.
March 13, 2016 – Ted Carleton spotted 2 cranes along the Cary ditch, north of US 40, and across from the Yampa River State Park at 11:52 a.m. and submitted their photo.
March 13, 2016 – Holliss Hampton spotted 3 cranes at 3 p.m. on RCR 51 near the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and submitted their photo. In relating her first sighting of the season she said, “Always a tremendously exciting moment for me!.”
March 13, 2016 – Jim and Lynn Kelley took a photo of 2 pairs of cranes near the Moffat County Airport. They saw others west of Hayden as well.
March 15, 2016 – Tom Kostur submitted a photo of a whole flock of cranes but didn’t tell us exactly where they were spotted.
March 15, 2016 – Larry and Mary Kay Monger (2014 winners) spotted their first cranes at High Tide Ranch on RCR 44 at 4 p.m.
March 15, 2016 – Michael Sowards reported that they saw 4 cranes in flight between Steamboat and Milner and said, “Always very exciting to see them.”
March 21, 2016 – Susan Nyby submitted a photo of a pair of cranes on RCR 14 right below Dakota Ridge.
March 22, 2016 – Robert Larkin reported sighting a crane around 3p.m. near the corner of Hwy 131 and River Road.
Thanks to everyone who shared their crane sightings with us. We hope to see all of you at the 5th annual Yampa Valley Crane Festival – September 8 – 11, 2016 in Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO.