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Carroll Henderson, DNR nongame wildlife program coordinator.

ASK THE DNR: Do sandhill cranes migrate at night?

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Q. Last night I heard and saw what I believe was a flock of cranes. It was a dark night, with bright stars shining, but only a little moonlight. Is it common for cranes to migrate at night?

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A. Sandhill cranes normally migrate during the day, but in some circumstances they have been observed migrating after dark, especially if there is a bright starlit or moonlit night sky.

A Florida field naturalist reported migratory sandhill cranes flying overhead at 10:30 p.m. and another two flocks flying overhead at 3 a.m. on the same night near Gainesville, Fla. on Nov. 25-26, 1984.

Sandhill cranes from eastern Minnesota winter in Florida and would be migrating to Florida in November.

— Carrol Henderson

Henderson is nongame wildlife program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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