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Arizona Game and Fish’s sandhill crane cam now streaming

11/26/16

PHOENIX — Sandhill cranes have returned to southeastern Arizona and the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s live-streaming camera is again trained on their wintering grounds at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area.

“Now is the perfect time to watch these magnificent birds as they winter in Arizona,” said Randy Babb, watchable wildlife program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “This live-steaming camera allows the public to have an unfiltered view of our state’s wildlife. It also allows the department to connect the public with wildlife.”

The live stream is one of two in the country that offers viewers a glimpse into crane wintering habits. Each year, sandhill cranes coming as far away as Siberia travel thousands of miles to winter in southern Arizona.

The best time to view the birds is a half-hour before and up to a half-hour after sunrise, just before they leave the roost to feed for the morning. Cranes also return to Whitewater Draw sometime in the late morning, generally before noon and remain at the wildlife area for the remainder of the day.

While the department will do its best to keep the camera focused on the cranes and other interesting wildlife subjects, there will be times it isn’t possible due to the unpredictability of wildlife. Viewers that don’t see activity when they try the camera are encouraged to routinely check back. This is especially true in the early winter, when the newly arrived birds are establishing a routine.

The live stream is offered from early November when cranes first start to arrive at Whitewater Draw, through March or early April when the birds leave to migrate to northern nesting grounds.   

The sandhill crane live stream is supported by the Wildlife Conservation Fund, which comes from tribal gaming and the Wildlife Viewing Program.  Learn more about wildlife viewing and upcoming public wildlife viewing activities at www.azgfd.com/Wildlife/Viewing.