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Albuquerque Welcomes Return of Migrating Sandhill Cranes to Open Space

The City’s Open Space Division urges all residents to respect the visiting wildlife.

Every fall, Albuquerque celebrates the return of one of our region’s most beautiful and cherished seasonal visitors, the Sandhill Cranes. In the past week, these birds have been sighted at the Open Space Visitor Center and other open space properties around the City. While these majestic creatures are a sight to see in their natural habitats, the City’s Open Space Division is urging all visitors to our open space properties to respect the wildlife as they settle into their winter habitat for the next several months.

“Welcome back, Sandhill Cranes!” said Dave Simon, Parks and Recreation Director. “Around 18,000 cranes return every year to the Middle Rio Grande Valley for several months during Fall and Winter, having traveled thousands of miles from as far as the Arctic Circle. The public is invited to the Visitor Center to see the birds in their natural habitat. The presence of these amazing animals is another reason our city is so special.”

One of the best places for watching the Sandhill Cranes is the Open Space Visitor Center, which is located adjacent to farm fields managed by the Open Space Division as wildlife habitat. The Visitor Center has become a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, as it allows for unique views of Sandhill Cranes and other bird species, with the spectacular backdrops of the Sandia Mountains and the Cottonwood forests of the Rio Grande.

The Open Space Division will host the Return of the Sandhill Crane Celebration on Saturday, November 10 at the Open Space Visitor Center from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The free event will feature presentations on Sandhill Crane ecology, the “New Mexico Wildlife and Wildscapes” art exhibit, a dance performance by Maple Street Dance Space, storytelling, children’s activities, viewing scopes, crafts, and fun for the whole family. For more information, visit the Events Calendar at www.cabq.gov/openspace.

Attached are some recent images from the Open Space Visitor Center of some of the first Sandhill Cranes seen this year.

About the Open Space Visitor Center:

The Open Space Visitor Center is an interpretive hub for the Open Space program, lands, and resources. Visitors enjoy educational exhibits, art displays, wildlife fields, a Traditions garden, Bosque trails, and a variety of talks, workshops, demonstrations and entertainment. The Open Space Visitor Center is located at 6500 Coors Boulevard, between Montaño Road and Paseo del Norte at the end of Bosque Meadows Road. Look for the Flyway art installation. Call 505-897-8831 or see www.cabq.gov/openspace for more information.