OTHELLO, Wash. – The 15th annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival is set for March 23 to 25. Registration is now open online at www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org or by calling the festival hotline at (866) 726-3445.
This unique festival celebrates the yearly arrival of approximately 25,000 sandhill cranes to the area as they travel from California to their breeding grounds in Alaska each spring.
The birds stop in the Othello area to feed in the corn fields as they bulk up for the last leg of their journey. They draw several thousand spectators to view them and to take part in the festival that helped put Othello on the map.
Each festival features lectures on a variety of wildlife, geology and history topics. There are also a variety of tours to view the area wildlife, including the cranes, as well as some of the interesting landscape created by the Ice Age floods 12,000 years ago.
Friday evening’s tours board at the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife building. This year, the theme is “Birding the Basin” and a number of new speakers will be on hand discussing spring birding in the Columbia Basin area. This family festival is designed to be of interest to anyone, not just birdwatchers. Even the children will learn about wildlife with a variety of activities designed just for them.
There is a $7 entry fee for adults. Seniors are $5 and children under 12 are free with paid adult admission.