Annual Midwest Crane Count

Attention Annual Midwest Crane Count participants! Did you miss our webinar on how to enter your crane count data? Click here to view a recording.

Get involved in the 2024 Annual Midwest Crane Count on Saturday, April 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. Central Time.

Each year in mid-April, over 2,000 volunteers travel to their local wetlands and favorite birding locations to participate in the crane count. This annual survey of Sandhill and Whooping Cranes spans over 150 counties in seven states of the upper Midwest, including Wisconsin and portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota.

To participate in the crane count, you first need to contact your County Coordinator to be assigned a site and get more instructions. Click here to view the listing of county coordinators. See Counter Information to download your data sheet, instructions for entering your data and other useful links.

If your county is not involved and you are interested in becoming a County Coordinator, contact the International Crane Foundation’s Crane Count Coordinator at 608-356-9462.

Mark Hendrickson, Mark Hanson and Mark Johnson have been friends for decades. Since the 1980s the trio has participated in the Annual Midwest Crane Count, a volunteer-based effort to monitor the region’s sandhill crane population. The cold morning in April starts before sunrise, involves hiking and exposure to the elements, and yet each year the men show up for each other.

Sandhill Crane strikes a pose

Do you count in the eastern time zone? We recommend beginning your survey 15 minutes prior to sunrise in your area – approximately 6:45 a.m. ET.

Counter Information

County Coordinator Resources

Past Results and History