Get a live look at Swaner Preserve’s baby cranes |

Get a live look at Swaner Preserve’s baby cranes

Pamela Manson
A newborn Sandhill crane sits with one of its parents at Swaner Preserve.
Jodi Buren/

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter in Park City has welcomed two new arrivals and everyone can watch them grow up.

A webcam ( provides live updates on two Sandhill cranes — called “colts” — who hatched at the preserve on Saturday, 33 days after the eggs were first spotted in the nest.

The cranes usually are in the nest in the morning and evening, which are the best times to see them online. The webcam is moved to other parts of the preserve the rest of the time. 

The colts left the nest for the first time on Sunday morning, according to a post on the preserve’s Facebook page.

“The cranes hatch, ready to swim and wade, so they can leave the nest with their parents, and will now learn to forage on the Preserve,” the post says. “Both parents will attend to the colts through the summer and protect them from predators.”

Katherine Veeder, the center’s director of education, said cranes typically take care of their offspring for about eight to nine months. Colts grow rapidly and the two newborn cranes will go south with their parents to another preserve when the weather cools in the fall.

“They’re a migratory bird species, so they spend the warm months here in Park City and then they migrate to Bosque Del Apache down in New Mexico for the winters,” Veeder said.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge ( is a critical stopover site for migrating waterfowl and is well-known for the tens of thousands of cranes, geese and ducks who winter there each year, its website says. 

Sandhill cranes, who are native to Utah, mate for life and return to the place where they were born, Veeder said. The Swaner Preserve cranes come back from New Mexico as early as February and as late as April, she said.

The cranes don’t go far from the nest and they have been hanging around the preserve’s wetland pier most days, Veeder said. She said people can come to the preserve, at 1258 Center Drive, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday to try to get a look at them. The preserve will loan binoculars to visitors.

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter is a 1,200-acre nature preserve and a Utah State University Distance Education site.


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