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Arizona Sandhill Crane Webcam Is Back

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Game And Fish Department)
The cranes congregate at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

Sandhill cranes are making a repeat appearance this year thanks to a webcam managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The department said the best time to view the cranes is just before and after sunrise before the birds head off to feed. They generally return to Whitewater Draw in the late morning. They will remain throughout the day and may be visible on the webcam.

At its peak, the wildlife area is expected to draw 10,000 to 15,000 sandhill cranes. The department first turned on the camera last seasonduring the cranes annual migration to southern Arizona near McNeal. Their migration begins in late October and lasts until March or early April.

The livestream is part of the department’s watchable wildlife program that brings nature to the public. Watchable wildlife program manager Randy Babb said the live-streaming camera provides the public with "an unfiltered view" of the wildlife.

“We want to connect people with wildlife so that even when they’re stuck in the office they can see them,” said Babb. “We really want them to get out and see them in person but this is the next best thing.”

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Kerry Fehr-Snyder is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of print experience and an emphasis on science and medical reporting. She honed her understanding of science journalism during a yearlong Knight Foundation fellowship at MIT for science and technology writers. There, she audited classes at MIT and Harvard in a variety of courses, including evolutionary biology, astrophysics and biotechnology during the race to map the human genome. For fun, she took a class sculling on the muddy Charles River, where she gained an appreciation of the laws of physics. During her long reporting career at The Arizona Republic, she mentored and edited younger journalists. Later, she wrote and designed the monthly medical-marijuana newsletter for the Arizona Department of Health Services and its 70,000-plus certified cardholders. Most recently, she was the associate editor for the San Tan Sun News, a community newspaper in south Chandler that is produced by Times Media. While there, she edited freelance stories and assigned news stories and features, while also editing the Scottsdale Airpark News and other Times' publications. Fehr-Snyder is a near-native of Tempe, where she earned degrees in journalism and economics from Arizona State University.