ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Celebrate the return of the sandhill cranes at the thirty-fourth annual Festival of the Cranes, December 6-9, 2023, in Socorro, NM. Join birding experts from near and far for a chance to learn about Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and many of New Mexico’s overwintering birds. The Festival offers over seventy creative workshops in the field at Bosque del Apache and indoor workshops at New Mexico Tech.
Our Festival celebrates the survival and yearly migration of the enigmatic sandhill crane. The sandhill crane is an ancient species of waterfowl that migrates from Canada and the northern US to winter in the Rio Grande Valley. The oldest fossil on record is 1.7 million years old. Both cranes and snow geese begin arriving in smaller numbers at the refuge in late October. By early December, tens of thousands of cranes and snow geese make the Middle Rio Grande Valley their home until they migrate back north in mid-February.
Our most popular presenters will return to offer education and up-close viewings of wildlife. Festival workshops focus on photography, birding, and environmental education, as well as offering hikes and historical tours of the area. Registration for the general public opened Wednesday, October 11. Workshops are filling up quickly, but many still have plenty of space available. To register and learn more about this year’s Festival, please visit: https://friendsofbosquedelapache.ticketspice.com/2023-festival-of-the-cranes-registration
Field workshops will be outdoors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, with buses taking registrants to various locations. Additionally, there will be three nighttime photography workshops at the Very Large Array on the San Agustin plains, one hour west of Socorro. Indoor workshops will meet in classrooms at Macey Center on the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro. Visit the Expo Room located in the downstairs and upstairs lobbies at NM Tech’s Macey Center for the opportunity to meet and explore unique offerings from several vendors including camera and optics companies, eco-tourism partners, and this year’s art contest winner, Lisa Benham. The Expo Room is free to enter and open to the public. Anyone coming to the Expo Room on the first day of Festival will receive a welcome packet with great coupons and other goodies.
What do people love about Festival of the Cranes? Guests who attended the 2022 Festival shared that they loved the sense of community and inclusivity the festival provided. “Being able to gather with people from around the world and of all ages in a unique environment was an unforgettable experience,” said one attendee. Other guests were amazed by the educational quality of the workshops and the new skills they learned. Many attendees appreciated the opportunity to be outdoors and experience the amazing sites, wildlife and healing energy of nature.
Why: We gather to celebrate the annual return of sandhill cranes and the delicate oasis ecosystem that supports them at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Festival is an opportunity for people who care about New Mexico’s wildlife and wild places to have fun outside, meet like-minded people, and learn how to sharpen their birding and photography skills.
What: 34th Annual Festival of the Cranes
When: Wednesday, December 6 – Saturday, December 9
Where: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (outdoor workshops) and New Mexico Tech (indoor seminars)
Cost: Varies, with some events and activities cost-free. Visit our website for more details.
Who’s Invited: EVERYONE! Come visit our fragile oasis in the high desert – a rare jewel that has been cherished by New Mexicans from all walks of life for generations.
About Friends of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Founded in 1993, Friends has grown into a nonprofit organization of more than one thousand members spread across the US and the world. Friends is the only organization that provides substantial financial and organizational support to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, literally changing the refuge’s appearance and effectiveness. Friends raises funds for refuge needs, advocates for relevant conservation issues, builds critical partnerships, and provides funding for environmental education and research. Friends runs programs and events (like Festival of the Cranes) year-round to promote appreciation and conservation of wildlife and habitat.
Friends of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
PO Box 340
SOURCE Friends of Bosque del Apache