Sandhill crane with colt (chick)

Did you know that Greater Sandhill Crane young are called colts?

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, private property on the Silvies Floodplain and elsewhere in Harney Count provides prime nesting habitat greater sandhill cranes! In early June visitors may have the opportunity to view crane colts feeding in meadows with their parents. Be on the lookout for a flash of rusty orange near the adults’ feet if you are looking for colts.

Colts leave the nest within 8 hours of hatching and can even swim - which is good as most of the nests are surrounded by water. Colts will remain with their parents for 9-10 months after hatching and will return with their parents to their breeding grounds.

Greater and Lesser Sandhill Crane adults are a common sight during the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival, but an early summer visit may yield views of young cranes.

The 2015 Festival was a great success.

141 bird species were observed during the three days of the festival!


map showing location of Harney County in relation to pacific northwest stateThe Harney County Migratory Bird Festival is held the second weekend of April and offers a variety of activities for bird watching enthusiasts. Located in the high desert of Southeast Oregon the festival occurs during the height of the spring sandhill crane, waterfowl and shorebird migrations along the Pacific Flyway. The Festival offers spectacular bird watching opportunities. Over 100 species of birds can be viewed during the festival. The 2015 bird list is available to view as a PDF.


Disappointed because the 2015 tour you wanted to get on was full?

Many of our tours fill within just a few days.

One of the benefits of our annual membership is the opportunity to register one week earlier than non-members!  

Learn about the benefits of our optional Annual Festival Membership

Additional questions about the bird festival?   Feel free to Contact us.


Festival Sponsors
Harney County Chamber of Commerce | Bureau of Land Management
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife | US Fish & Wildlife Service - Malheur  | US Forest Service | Ducks Unlimited