A population of sandhill cranes lives in Crex through out the summer. On a few occasions we have even been lucky enough to see a sandhill pair out with its new colt, that is what baby sandhills are called.
In the fall the sandhill poulation grows as birds from all around the area converge on Crex and use it as a staging area for the fall migration. Soon after these pictures where taken these sandhills were on their way to some where warm like the New Mexico, south Texas or Florida.
Another visitor to the refuge during the fall are rough legged hawks. These birds nest up on the northern tundra of Alaska and Canada. Most spend their winter down in the lower 48 states. This one may have spent the winter at Crex or he might have just been stopping off to look for some lunch on his way further south.
One of the most common raptors found at Crex is the bald eagle. The abundance of water on the refuge and fish that are found in the water provide for numerous nesting pair in and around the park. During the winter these eagles will head south in search of open water and may end up a couple of hours south at Reeds Landing in southern Minnesota.