20,000 cranes take rest in Colorado

March 10, 2008

Thousands of Sandhill Cranes have converged on Colorado's Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for a stopover before they head north.

Each spring about 20,000 of the winged creatures take a respite at the refuge, the Rocky Mountain News reported Sunday.

The birds feed on barley and wheat and roost in open water at night, from late February through mid-April. After leaving the refuge, many of the birds begin their 850-mile trip to summer breeding grounds, often in the greater Yellowstone area -- including Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho -- or points farther north, the newspaper said.

The birds will return to southern Colorado again in September on their way to New Mexico and points south for the winter.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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