In this gallery, wildlife photographer Robert Visconti shares his images of greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) as they congregate at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, a critical staging area along their southward migratory route.
Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area is located in Medaryville, Indiana and consists of 8,062 acres of wetland, woodland, and upland habitat. The site is virtually all that remains of what used to be the expansive Kankakee Marsh. The Kankakee Marsh once consisted of more than a million acres of wetlands, but during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the region was extensively drained to make way for agricultural use.
Today, the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area is a valuable stopover point for migratory birds such as sandhill cranes, whooping cranes, Canada geese, and ducks. Sandhill cranes begin to arrive in the region during the month of August. By November, the number of cranes at the reserve reaches its peak, when there can be in the range of 15,000-30,000 birds at Jasper-Pulaski grounds at one time. The cranes stay at the reserve for three or four weeks before continuing on their journey southward.