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OUT THERE: Hop on the Colorado birding trail

A lone sandhill crane wanders the marshy land of the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge looking for food March 7, 2009. For centuries, and most likely millenniums, the Sandhill Cranes have migrated through the fertile San Luis Valley and nearby Rio Grande River populating the farmlands and the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge from late February through March before reaching their final destination in the Greater Yellowstone area. The population of birds can number in the thousands. They will eventually make their way back through Colorado in the early fall before reaching their winter destination in New Mexico. Photo by BRYAN OLLER, THE GAZETTE