Crane Festival gets underway this weekend

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    The spring thaw has started in the San Luis Valley and the Sandhill Crane migration has begun. You are invited to the 31st annual Monte Vista Crane Festival, March 7-9.

    The 2014 Monte Vista Crane Festival will feature:

    • Noah Stryker, featured speaker at Central Auditorium — “Bird World: Insights for Humans-The Amazing Lives of Birds.”

    • Our traditional crane viewing tours — 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. Sunday.

    • Friday evening guest presentation.

    • Craft and Exhibit Fair — 10 a.m.-4p.m. Friday; 6 a.m.-4p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

    • Valley Raptor Tours — 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

    • Birding Tour — 10 a.m. Saturday.

    • Saturday Evening Dinner — 7 p.m.; cost $23; seating limited to 100 people.

    Saturday educational workshops include:

    • Ron Garcia — The Making of a Wildlife Refuge.

    • Stuart Bryan — John C. Fremont’s Fatal Fourth Expedition (1848-1849).

    • Rio Grande Headwater Land Trust — “A Fierce Green Fire.”

    • Hawks Aloft — All About Owls.

    Viewing tours, raptors and dinner reservations are recommended.

    For more information, call (719) 852-3552 or visit www.cranefest.com.