A local bird enthusiast will talk about her adventures migrating with Sandhill Cranes from Socorro to Alaska at a free public presentation at 5:30 pm on Friday, Jan. 24 at Macey Center. The event precedes the Presidential Chamber Concert and is the second in a collaborative series between Socorro’s American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the NM Tech Performing Arts Series (NMT PAS).

“Cranes of the World” with Sandra Noll is a multi-media presentation which offers viewers an inside look into her world and efforts to preserve these magnificent birds. Abundant in visual imagery and storytelling, the program opens with an overview of the natural history, art, cultural symbolism and mythology of cranes followed by a brief introduction to the International Crane Foundation (ICF) and its role in crane conservation.

Unique characteristics of each of the world’s 15 crane species are then highlighted with particular attention to the two species found only in North America: the highly endangered Whooping Crane and abundant Sandhill Crane.
Sandra Noll

Sandra Noll with partner Erv Nichols John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain

Sandra Noll and her partner Erv Nichols are well known volunteers and enthusiasts who first met at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. They have been featured speakers and guides at festivals in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.

Sandra, a registered nurse by profession, returned to her native New Mexico in 2006. Her work as bird and habitat conservationist developed out of a fascination with Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache NWR. Whether from a viewing deck, lecture hall or leading bird walks her passion connects people with our nation’s special landscapes and wildlife.

A major aspect in cranes’ lives, said Sandra in a November, 2018 El Defensor Chieftain article, is their strong family attachment. “They are very dedicated to their family group. The male and female stay together year after year, and their offspring stay with them nine to ten months,” Noll said.

“It’s really fun to know that family dynamic, watch how they communicate,” she said. “They’re still pretty territorial. When they’re on breeding grounds – in Alaska, say – they won’t allow another crane within a mile. And they dance. They’re the only birds that dance year round.”

Sandra and Erv also are featured in a video, “Migrating With the Sandhill Cranes” by Mother Nature Network. “The wonder is always there. The more you know about these birds, the more you appreciate them, and more fun it is, so it never gets old,” says Sandra in the video.

“Cranes of the World with Sandra Noll,” is an uplifting talk and slideshow about the cranes story and preservation. While the event is free, donations will be accepted. Light snacks will be available and a cash bar.

For further information about this event, contact PAS at 575-835-5688.