Visit Valparaiso, IN, the Vale of Paradise, to take on the Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt beginning in 2022. Visit Valparaiso to hunt down the clues needed to find all 10 native birds species throughout downtown.
Sandhill Cranes are large birds that live in open habitats, so they’re fairly easy to spot if you go to the right places. In summer look for them in small bogs, marshes, and prairies across northern Indiana. Their loud bugling call is unique and can be heard from miles away. In flight, they fly with their neck distinctively straight out, versus the “S” curve neck that a heron flies with.
Tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate through the Kankakee River wetlands each spring as the wetlands and ponds thaw. While the spring migration is an impressive sight to see, the fall migration, which funnels through Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, 35 minutes south of Valpo, offers spectators an elevated platform view of cranes coming to socialize before dusk. Cranes from several states meet in Northwest Indiana. The best times to view the cranes in the fall is between mid-October and late- November. The fall viewing of Sandhill Cranes has been voted one of the top 20 things every Hoosier should experience.
Sandhill Cranes are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance. Some cranes begin breeding at 2 years of age, but some wait as long as seven years to begin breeding.