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by Klondike Kid
AOJ Wildlife

Sandhill Crane Viewing

Flying Sandhill Crane Sandhill cranes are one of North America's largest migratory birds, second only to the swans and the largest sub-species of Canada Geese. Approximately 80% of all sandhills nest in Alaska during the summer months. Their preferred habitat are the lowlands comprised of bogs, swamps and other tundra-type wetlands. Since Alaska contains millions of acres of this type of habitat cranes nest over a wide area.
The best viewing of sandhill cranes is around the town of Kenai. Beginning in spring, many of these birds frequent the Kenai Flats at the mouth of the Kenai River where an abundance of food is available. They are a majestic bird in flight and often put on a spectacular aerial show as they drop from higher altitudes to land on the flats. Their melodic call can be heard from miles away and will alert the wildlife enthusiast as to their presence. Sandhill Crane

Most birds on the Kenai Flats will stay until the end of May and a patient observer may be treated to their comical courtship displays at this time. Look on the downstream side of the highway on the Kalifonsky Beach Road side of the river. The land along Marathon Road behind the Kenai Airport also contains their favorite habitat and many birds can be found in this area throughout the summer months. Take your binoculars as this is wide open country that provides a lot of terrain to scout.

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