The Sandhills of September

Article and Photos by Charlie Lansche | August 27, 2020 | Wildlife Weekly 

You can hear the rattling, throaty bugle of a sandhill crane from miles away. Their primordial call is one of the most distinctive sounds in nature. And each year in September, thousands of these 4-foot tall crimson and gray-colored birds band together in the lowland valleys, wetlands, and prime agricultural areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in preparation for their long migration to wintering grounds in New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.

sandhill birds

As early autumn approaches listen for their unmistakable calls. And watch for cranes in flight, near night roosts in shallow wetland areas, and feeding together in the rich farmlands of the Teton Valley, Star Valley, and upper Snake River Plain.

sandhills flying

Island Park resident Charlie Lansche is a landscape and wildlife photographer. View more of his photos at