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Thousands Of Sandhill Cranes Flock To NWI

CHICAGO (CBS) -- About two hours from Chicago people have been gathering at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area to witness the fall spectacle of  thousands of migrating Sandhill cranes.

An estimated 12,000 Sandhill cranes had their fall stop over floating into a huge field called the goose pasture.

The sound seems to defy description.

"Somebody might have one, but I don't. It's very unusual," laughs Jim Bergens, the Property Manager at Jasper-Pulaski where he's worked for more than 40 years.

"The young cranes actually learn the migration route from their parents. They typically stay for two to three weeks," adds Bergens.

There's a big wooden platform where you can watch the cranes along with deer, turkeys and sometimes coyotes.

"It's interesting. When a coyote does go through the field, the cranes all get quiet. Their heads all go in the same direction," says Bergens.

The best viewing times are around sunrise and sunset.


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