In the extreme northeast area of California there is an oasis for wildlife in the high desert. Fed by the Pit River watershed is a wide valley of wet meadows, ponds and fields. This is one summer home of California's Greater Sandhill Cranes. It is a protected area managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service known as the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. The Greater Sandhill Cranes of California Central Valley migrate north in the spring to return to their traditional nesting territories. Mated pairs claim their summer turf year after year to breed and raise their young. In the fall they bring their young back to the Central Valley to spend the winter in the wetlands and surrounding fields that have been their homes for thousands of years.
This video / photographic / audio essay is a glimpse of the Crane's spring and summer home and the vibrant community of creatures that bring the wetlands to life. It is inspired by the volunteer work of Save Our Sandhill Cranes and made possible by the dedicated staff of the Refuge. The value of maintaining, protecting and promoting wetlands can not be over stated. It is critical that this important habitat be honored and allowed to flourish.