Conservation

Seeking Farmers to Provide Habitat for Cranes

Seeking Farmers to Provide Habitat for Cranes

To learn more and apply at BirdReturns.org by Noon on October 16, 2023, to create short-term habitat for the BirdReturns-Sandhill Crane Program. The BirdReturns Program creates short-term habitat that migratory birds, including sandhill cranes, desperately need by paying farmers to flood their fields.

What is required?

The Program requires post-harvest management and two habitat types:

  • At least 50 acres of flooded habitat for a minimum of eight weeks
  • At least 150 acres on harvested small grains fields must remain unflooded for at least six weeks

Make crane habitat your second crop.

Winter post-harvest flooding of roost fields helps decompose crop residue, aids salt management, and offers pre-irrigation benefits if extended into the spring. Flooding in the Delta also helps combat subsidence.

Without our help, sandhill cranes and other waterbirds that overwinter in the Central Valley are likely to continue to decline. Imagine traveling thousands of miles without food or rest. Overwintering cranes are in dire need of safe habitat to rest and refuel before embarking on their spring migration north. Flooded fields provide roosting habitat while dry agricultural fields offer foraging opportunities. Make helping cranes and other waterbirds part of your annual cropping cycle by providing habitat with BirdReturns!

For more information, go to BirdReturns.org or contact the following individuals with any questions:

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