MEDARYVILLE, Ind. (WANE) — Although it is quite common for many bird species to migrate south once the weather begins to become colder, one particular species has a migration pattern that draws the attention of nature lovers across Indiana: the sandhill crane.

Each fall, thousands of sandhill cranes pass through the Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area to visit the area’s shallow marshes, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The DNR’s website calls the event one of Indiana’s “greatest wildlife spectacles.”

DNR staff make weekly counts of the number of sandhill crane from the beginning of October until just before Christmas, which is the period where the sandhill crane population in the area is the highest.

A DNR webpage dedicated to the migration and population counts was recently updated and shows the current population counts as of Oct. 18, as well as the totals from 2021.

In 2021, population counts at the park grew from just under 4,000 to nearly 29,000 from early October to late November.

The DNR says the best time to view the cranes is either at sunrise or sunset.