LUCAS, Ky. –  As it gets colder and you begin to hear the distinct cry of migrating birds overhead, you may want to take a second look at the flock soaring above you, because it just may be sandhill cranes rather than Canada geese. 

Barren River Lake State Resort Park is again offering two weekends in January and February to view these beautiful birds.

Sandhill cranes are tall, gray birds reaching heights up to 4 feet, weighing up to 12 pounds with a wingspan of 6-7 feet.  They have two distinct features about them: one is their appearance of a crimson, red-crowned forehead, white cheeks, and fluffy rear end; the other is when in flight, the long dark legs trail behind and the long neck is kept straight out, rather than tucked in towards the body.

Each year thousands of sandhill cranes make Barren River Lake a stop as they congregate in huge numbers to migrate. The lake’s exposed mud flats in winter provide the birds with a perfect spot to rest and socialize as they settle in for the night. Ample farmlands and wet meadows offer an abundance of food.

If you would like to learn more about these intriguing birds with a unique sound, Barren River Lake State Resort Park offers Nature Watch Weekends Jan. 25-27 and Feb. 8-10, 2013, to view these beautiful cranes as they migrate through the area.


Each weekend begins with an educational session conducted by Wayne Tamminga, a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, on Friday evening at 7 p.m. Registration is $30 per adult and $18 per child 8-12 years old (must be at least 8 years old to go on van tours). The fee includes all educational sessions, a box lunch, a T-shirt and a choice of one of the following: Saturday sunrise, Saturday sunset, or – new this year – a Sunday sunrise van tour. 


For more information, contact Jamie Avery at jamie.avery@ky.gov or 1-800-325-0057. When making reservations ask for the sandhill crane lodge room rate of $49.95 plus tax. 


The park is surrounded by rolling, tree-covered hills, on the edge of a beautiful 10,000-acre lake. There are 51 lodge rooms, 22 cottages and 99 campsites at the park. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of an upscale fish camp in the Driftwood Restaurant. If you are looking for something to do during your visit, you can play on the 18-hole golf course, hike along a nature trail, visit the marina to rent a boat, check out a fishing pole or sports equipment, browse the gift shop or just enjoy a peaceful seat overlooking the lake.


The resort is 44 miles southeast of Bowling Green. Take Interstate 65 to the Cumberland Parkway east, to U.S. 31E south.





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