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Sandhill Cranes Back in Othello | Arts & Culture

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Sandhill Cranes Back in Othello
Sandhill Cranes Back in Othello

Bird watchers spent their weekend in the Columbia Basin, taking part in an annual rite of spring. 25,000 sandhill cranes descended on  Columbia National Wildlife Refuge near Othello, as they have for the last several decades.

The birds have been flocking to the refuge in large numbers since the 1970's. For the last 14 years, the town of Othello has celebrated their arrival - and the arrival of those who come to see them - with the annual Sandhill Crane Festival. The festival, held this past weekend, brings in more than a thousand people each year. In addition to boat trips and bird watching from the shore, those visitors spend money, supporting local businesses.


Around 25,000 of the birds head to the Columbia National Wildlife refuge every March; they've been doing so since the 1970's. For the past 14 years, Othello has celebrated the rite of spring with the Sandhill Crane Festival. More than a thousand people turn out each year, supporting local businesses in the process.