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Category Archives: Crex Meadows

There was a small convention of American Crows in trees along the road at Crex Meadows and I managed to get a few photographs.


On a recent visit to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area we were fortunate to see a number of cygnets with their parents.


On a recent visit to Crex Meadows we found a variety of spring wildflowers blooming.

Birds-foot Violet


Hoary Puccoon


Wild Lupine


Lyre Leaved Rock Cress


On our last visit to Crex Meadows we were able to spot a wide range of wildlife.

Bull Snake

Spotted Gopher

Painted Turtle

White-tailed Deer

Trumpeter Swan

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Just as we were leaving Crex Meadows we encountered a pair of Ring-necked Ducks that were posing for photos.


We had been cooped up on the farm for a few weeks so we decided to drive up to Crex Meadows. It was a beautiful spring day, so When we arrived at Phantom Lake we were surprised to see what looked like ground fog along the road.

As we drove down the road it turned out that it wasn’t ground fog but a hatch of insects. The above shot was take into the sun and the shot below was taken with the sun.These were taken through the windshield because my wife wouldn’t let me open the window or get out of the car. As we drove along the lake the insects started gathering on the car. In a couple of places they were a half inch thick.

We were seeing quite a bit of wildlife but it was difficult to photograph because as soon as we stopped the insects tarted gathering. I saw this Blanding’s Turtle on the road. We stopped and I didn’t see any insects so I jumped out to get a few shots. When I got back in the car they were all over my jacket and we spent the next half hour swatting them with our hats.

I managed a few  Blue-winged Teal shots without letting any insects into the car.

I decided to drive back to the visitors center to put my camera gear away since we hadn’t seen any insects when we arrived. I noticed a couple of clumps of Pasqueflowers near the entrance to the visitors center.


Given the current situation in the world it was great to be able to get out of the house and drive through Crex Meadows. Not a lot going on but we did see some wildlife.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Trumpeter Swans

Rough legged Hawk


My wife and I drove up to Crex Meadows to observe the fall migration of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. About 40 thousand of them pass through Crex each fall. When we arrived at Crex we drove our normal route looking for wildlife. The fall colors were just about done but sill very nice.


On our drive we encountered a family of Trumpeter Swans feeding right next to the road. They seemed unconcerned when I exited the car to take their photograph. Our our return drive we found them on an old Beaver house.


After driving around the flowages we decided to drive some the back roads south east of Grantsburg. During the day the cranes leave the flowage and fly out to the fields to feed. You can usually spot where they are feeding by following the flying cranes. Most of the crops had not been harvested because of the rain. Those fields that had been harvested were covered with mud. The farmers must have had an interesting time trying to drive equipment in the mud.


We then drove back to Grantsburg to check into our motel and grab an early dinner before heading back out to the flowages. Not all of the cranes leave the flowages for the day. This one was feeding along the road. About an hour and a half before sunset the cranes start the evening flight from the fields to their rousts for the evening. The sound of them returning is something to hear. There were a large number of Trumpeter Swans resting peacefully in the nesting areas. Once the cranes started returning they caused such a disturbance that the swans started making their own  racket.



As the crane flight slowed down we decided to head back to town and try and get a few sunset photos along the way.






One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to drive to Grantsburg, Wisconsin to view the fall migration of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. Approximately 40 thousand Sandhill Cranes migrate through Crex Meadows in the fall. This is a outstanding place to watch cranes because you can get up close to the cranes.  In the morning, at sunrise, the cranes start moving with most of them flying out to the fields southeast of Grantsburg to feed. The best time to see the cranes is mid October to mid November.

There are also a large number of Trumpeter Swans residing in the flowages. They are typically quiet but when the cranes start moving they make a lot of noise and the swans then start honking as well.



This visit was made in mid October when the fall leaves were still in color.


I recently drove up to Crex Meadows to find out what was going on. Not a lot of wildlife to be found but I still managed a few shots.