Have you heard? Beauty's in the birds.


Through the ages, humans all over the world have appreciated cranes for their beauty and awe-inspiring mating dances.  In Asia, the crane represents happiness and eternal youth. In Japan, the crane—along with the dragon and tortoise—are recognized as mystical or holy creatures. They are also a favorite shape for origami designs.

There are 15 species of these highly vocal birds, which can be found on every continent except Antarctica and South America.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo is home to three species of these long necked, long legged birds—the Sandhill, Stanley and wattled cranes.

The BioPark welcomed a wattled crane chick for the first time in 2015. Along with the San Diego Zoo, the BioPark was one of only two facilities in the world to hatch wattled cranes in 2015. Wattled cranes are part of a Species Survival Plan, which helps ensure the survival of animals that are threatened or endangered in the wild.

Two Sandhill cranes came to the BioPark as rescues from New Mexico. The hope is that at least one of them will be re-released into the wild someday.

Our Actions Matter

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife refuge, near San Antonio, NM, is a popular destination for many avian species, including the Sandhill crane. In fact, the refuge hosts “Festival of the Cranes” each year in November. Bosque del Apache’s wetlands are an important wintering site for cranes to rest and eat before making their way north again to their breeding grounds in the spring. 

Cranes are dependent on wetlands—as humans destroy wetland environments and encroach on their habitat, it threatens the survival of these birds. That’s why wildlife refuges like Bosque del Apache are so important to maintain. Support Friends of the Bosque del Apache