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24th Annual CraneFest Celebrates Sandhill Crane Migration
Art, food, animals and more featured at event

BELLEVUE, MI – Grab a chair or blanket and settle in next to Big Marsh Lake to watch as thousands of migrating Sandhill Cranes fly in to roost during the 24th Annual CraneFest on Oct. 13-14.

Hosted by Michigan Audubon in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek, CraneFest is a free event held at the Kiwanis Youth Conservation Area in Bellevue which overlooks the lake and Michigan Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary.

From noon to dusk, the event features guided nature hikes, conservation raffle, activities for kids, live animal exhibits, food trucks, nature-themed art vendors, and concludes with the highlight of the day, optimal viewing of Michigan’s largest bird coming in to roost for the night.

“CraneFest is a fabulous opportunity for individuals and families to come together and enjoy a weekend filled with fun and interesting conservation-focused activities,” said Michigan Audubon’s Executive Director Heather Good. “We are so fortunate to have the ability to witness one of the largest congregations of these incredible birds right here in Michigan and we encourage the community to join us for this amazing experience.”

Sandhill Cranes will fly into and out of the marsh all day with the highest concentration of birds arriving around dusk. Live birds of prey presentations by Michigan Avian Experience will take place from 3-5 p.m. both days. Michigan reptiles and amphibians from Nature Discovery will be on exhibit from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday only.

Sandhill Cranes are believed to be the oldest living bird species, having existed for more than 9 million years. They measure up to five feet tall with wings spanning six feet in length. In the 1930s, habitat destruction and hunting only left 17 pairs of Sandhill Cranes in Michigan. Today, conservation efforts have led to a steady increase in populations with an estimated 30,000 cranes living in Michigan.

Admission to CraneFest is free. Parking is $7. The festival is located at the Kiwanis Youth Conservation Area, 22300 Fifteen Mile Rd., Bellevue, MI 49021.

For more information visit or call 517-580-7364.



About Michigan Audubon

Michigan Audubon connects birds and people for the benefit of both, through conservation, education, and research efforts in the state of Michigan. As a non-profit conservation organization, Michigan Audubon has 18 sanctuaries, more than 30 local chapters throughout the state, and manages Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. Visit for more information.