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A gathering of sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache.

For Western bird-watchers, one of the most memorable sights--and sounds--can be found at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico. Here, in winter, great flocks of sandhill cranes gather. In the early morning, the assembled cranes send up a cacophony: their mingled calls of gar-oo-oo can be heard a mile away. Last winter, between 15,000 and 20,000 cranes congregated at Bosque del Apache. The birds, with wingspans of 70 inches or wider, fan out by day to feed in farm fields and return at night to the refuge marshes. The wildlife refuge, located about 90 miles south of Albuquerque, is open daily from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset. You can see--and hear--the sandhill cranes there from November through February. Then, the cranes begin their journey to breeding grounds in the Northwest.
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Title Annotation:Window on the West; Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Article Type:Illustration
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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