Save Our Sandhill Cranes (SOS Cranes) is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining open-space habitat and the conservation of the California Central Valley's Sandhill crane populations through education, outreach, and community activism. Of particular concern to SOS Cranes are the threats to the remaining suitable winter habitats in the Central Valley of California. Pending urban development and the shift from corn and rice production to vineyards and orchards is likely to dramatically diminish what little remains of the winter migratory habitat of the Lesser and Greater Sandhill Cranes in this region. The Greater Sandhill Crane, which is a state-listed threatened species, exhibits a high degree of loyalty to its specific wintering grounds, and any disturbance there will result in them being uprooted. If we lose the present population, it is highly unlikely that Sandhill Cranes from another location and population will come and take their place. The Lesser Sandhill Cranes, a smaller subspecies of the Sandhill Crane, is subject to the same threats of habitat loss as the Greater Sandhill Cranes.



Save Our Sandhill Cranes, in partnership with the Sacramento Audubon Society, is again providing free public tours starting at the Cosumnes River Preserve Visitor Center at 13501 Franklin Blvd, Galt CA.  All tours will began at 3:30pm.  While cranes will be the featured subject of our tours, we may get to see good numbers of geese, ducks, shore birds, and a few raptors, swans and migrants passing through. We conclud each tour with a viewing of the cranes' sunset fly-in.  

Tour dates are as follows.

Sept 27 & 28, Oct 25 & 26, Nov 23, 23, 29 & 30,  Dec 27 & 28,  Jan 24 & 25, and Feb 28, 2015

(Direct questions to Mike at yogoombah@yahoo.com)

Additional free birding tours can be found at http://www.sacramentoaudubon.org/


November 1, 2013

IN LODI at the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival

We are proud to announce that the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival Association awarded Save Our Sandhill Cranes its 2013 Conservation Award.

The award stated, "In appreciation for your ongoing work in haitat preservation and education to ensure a healthy future for Sandhill Cranes."

This recognition gives us the energy and encouragement to continue to strive to live up to the lofty expectations of our highly respected peers in the Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival Association.


Crane poetry by B. Forman

Prepare for Landing

Welcome to Woodbridge

international airport

drop your weary wings

eat, drink, dance, rest, breathe, bond, live

welcome back to your homeland

Our Only Hope

Cranes returning to the valley

their sphere of influence

constricted by vineyards and villains

of mass destruction

converting marshes and cornfields

to tracts of streets dripping with oil and greed

shutting out the flocks with curtains and glass

turning away the trumpets of nature

to some distant shrinking field

a token of heritage whose ability to touch,

to mesmerize, to provoke is our only hope

to save our last wilderness



The Call of Courage

Beautiful racket

roars from a sleepy, misty marsh

sun cracks a smile

as the courage of cranes commands

our attention of their wisdom

illuminated at day break

expousing the virtues of the Delta

Night Magic
Tule fog creeps in
hiding cranes in the twilight
duo of phantoms
dancing with no one to watch
shrouded in their courtship and marvel


NEW THREATS TO OUR CRANES - water tunnels through Staten Island

Here is a brief article from International Crane Foundation web site describing their relationship to the tunnel project at Staten Island.


Here is some background information on the water tunnels and our cranes.

"New water tunnel route sets up conservation battle over Delta island" 

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/01/5698188/new-water-tunnel-route-sets-up.html#storylink=cpy

was published in the Sacramento Bee on Sept 1, 2013 at


"The Public Eye: Water plan may shift Delta tunnels"

was published in the Sacramento Bee on Aug 16, 2013 at




Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/15/5652161/water-plan-may-shift-
Other threats to our cranes.

Water Shortage

Since the Sandhill crane is a wetland bird, water shortage issues are relevant to it.  However, the Sandhill crane is especially sensitive to the loss of wetland because of its unusual roosting behavior.   When these cranes roost at night they must be in shallow water with long sight lines.   This is a special adaptation that has allowed Sandhill cranes to survive for hundreds of thousands of years.  When the crane sleeps in shallow water with long sight lines it is safe from mammalian predators.   Shallow water, about three to eight inches deep, is only part way up the legs of these tall birds.  However, that same water is almost up to the belly of a coyote!  So a coyote trying to stalk a crane will make a lot of splashing noise, be rather uncomfortable, and probably fail to catch a crane.  This adaptive technique depends on the ready availability of large bodies of shallow water.   Corn fields or rice fields, for example, are ideal if flooded in the wintertime after harvest.   Rice farmers who used to burn rice stubble after harvest have found that flooding their fields not only helps decompose the troublesome rice stubble, but it is compatible with wildlife survival.  This example of "wildlife compatible agriculture" is a win-win situation.








Why Are They Our Sandhill Cranes?

The Central Valley Sandhill Cranes do not interact with crane populations east of the Sierras. As such, if we do not maintain their critical, local winter habitat, and their numbers diminish, they will not be replenished by other populations. This is our local population -- the only one we get!