Wednesday, February 28, 2024

See all the Cranes of the World at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wisconsin

In the past few weeks I've been sharing posts about our anniversary weekend trip to Madison, Wisconsin (see those posts HERE and HERE if you missed them).  We spent the day in Madison touring many of their beautiful gardens and then the next morning we woke up and wondered what to do next.  We weren't quite ready to head home yet, so I googled "Things to do in the Madison area".  To my surprise, there was a crane foundation in nearby Baraboo which was on our way home anyway.  I couldn't believe it! I love birds, and I really love cranes!  We have the joy of seeing sandhill cranes near my house all summer long, so I was so excited to visit a place that was dedicated solely to off we went!

You can hear the cranes calling the minute you step out of your vehicle!  I couldn't believe my luck!  I've lived in Wisconsin most of my life and I have been to Baraboo many times (in fact I even lived in the area very briefly) yet I had no idea this place was here!  Thank goodness for Google!

On our walk to the Visitor's Center we were greeted by these beautiful sculptures of flying cranes!

The sculptures show the cranes in various stages of flight.

The International Crane Foundation has a nice Visitor Center and gift shop, but unfortunately I don't have any photos of it.  The minute we got there a tour was starting, so we quickly joined in on the tour.  The foundation does different free tours regularly.  The tour we took that day was on the East Asia cranes.

Saurs Crane

The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wisconsin is the ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD with all fifteen species of cranes.  Can you believe that?  That's crazy!  Baraboo is just this little town in the middle of Wisconsin.  No one would expect to find rare cranes here, but there are!

All the cranes have an indoor and outdoor habitat to live in.  Some can be a little camera shy like the crane pictured above.  Some of the cranes are visible only behind a fence, but others are behind glass so you get a nice clear view.  

The foundation is so beautifully decorated with architecture, sculptures, and scenic backgrounds of the cranes home of origin.

The Black-necked Cranes pictured below and in the video were a hoot!  They were behind glass, so we got a nice clear view.  Be sure to watch the short video so you can hear the sound they make.

Black-necked Cranes

The Black-necked Cranes are a "Near Threatened" species.

Here is a fun and elegant work of art showcasing origami cranes.

This sweet bird was one of my favorites.  Their population is rated "Vulnerable".

Red-crowned Crane

The main purpose of the International Crane Foundation is "Crane Conservation".  They work tirelessly to protect the crane population around the world, but they also do captive breeding and reintroduction, landscape restoration, and education to safeguard the world's fifteen species of cranes.  Pictured below is a photo taken at their "Restoration Overlook".  It is a panoramic view of their 120 acre landscape restoration.

In the distance, and in the closeup below you can see the research center which is not open to the public.

Hooded Crane

The Hooded Crane is rated as "Vulnerable".

The Eurasian Crane is rated "Least Concerned".  It is a common crane and while we were visiting we got to see this bird in action as it came towards us with wings outstretched screaming his fool head off.  Our tour guide said it was a treat to see that, even though it was a bit startling at the time.  She said that is how the crane scares dangerous predators away.

Eurasian Crane

Wattled Crane

Some areas of the foundation have nice amphitheaters like the one above the Wattled Crane exhibit where lectures can be held.  Wattled Cranes are rated as "Vulnerable".

Such a funny beak on this guy, almost like a turkey!

This fun resting spot is in the "Spirit of Africa" section of the park.

Spirit of Africa

Demoiselle Crane

The Demoiselle Crane is so elegant and beautiful, isn't it.  This crane is rated as "Least Concern". I'm happy about that!

 Black-crowned Crane

The Black-crowned Crane is perhaps the most unique of them all!  Just look at that fun haircut!  He is rated as "Vulnerable"

Blue Crane

The Blue Crane is also rated as "Vulnerable".  My, what a beautiful bird.  I love its soft coloring.

Pictured in the two photos below is the Whooping Crane Alcove.  Unfortunately we didn't see any Whooping Cranes out and about this day.  The Whooping Crane are rated as "Endangered". 

And before we left for the day, we got to see one last bird:  the Siberian Crane, which is rated as "Critically Endangered".

Siberian Crane

I forgot to mention that we did also see the common Sandhill Crane, but his exhibit is right in the Visitor Center, which I forgot to take photos of.  

You have to exit through the gift shop to leave the foundation, and on our way out we found these fun crane garden sculptures.  They move elegantly in the wind.  I really wanted to buy one, but they were kind of pricey for my taste.  Looking back, I should have purchased one to support the worthy cause of the foundation.  Maybe next time!

 If you're ever in the Madison/Baraboo area I highly suggest a stop at the International Crane Foundation, you won't regret it!  Where else in the world will you see all fifteen species of cranes?  No where!  

The International Crane Foundation is open daily May 1 to October 31 from 9:00 to 5:00.  Admission is $12.50 for adults, $6.00 for youth, and under five is free.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


  1. What a great place you found, I love cranes! We have been in Baraboo before but didn't know this place was there. Of course that was many years ago so it's possible that it's something newer. We had visited the Circus World Museum. It was so fun for when the kids were little but I'd love to go back again :)

    1. Yes, I couldn't believe it. And would you believe we have never been to the Circus World Museum? It's on my bucket list. I want to take the grandkids there.

  2. Such amazing pictures. I love looking at animals in nature. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us.

  3. Lots of beautiful pics! We used to visit Madison every year around the 4th of July and go to Werner Park for the fireworks.

    1. Thank you. Madison would be a fun place to see fireworks.

  4. It sounds like your impromptu visit to the crane foundation in Baraboo was an incredible find! The experience of hearing the cranes calling as soon as you stepped out of the car must have been truly magical.

  5. wow. those black-necked cranes are gorgeous, majestic. lovely.

  6. Cranes are majestical creatures to me
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at #16 InLinkz #WordlessWednesday (Words also welcome). See you again next week!

  7. Wow, really?--all 15 species of cranes? That's amazing. What a fun place. Love your photos. Visiting from Sweet Tea & Friends.

    1. Yes! Isn't that astounding? All in a little town in Wisconsin of all places.

    2. So fun. Popping in again to say thank for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #28 linkup. Hope to see you again next week. :)

  8. How interesting! I had no idea this place existed - and not all that far from me either! Will have to visit sometime. Visiting you from ST&F today.

  9. Looks like a beautiful way to spend the day.

  10. That sounds like such a neat place to visit. We have seen 2 or 3 of these species at our local zoo and I do love how majestic they always look. The crowned cranes are our favorite; but that might be because they'll often come right up to the glass and interact with us.

    1. It really is an amazing place. That's neat that the cranes interacted with you.

  11. Thanks for sharing these pictures of these majestic birds!

  12. Amy, I enjoyed all of your pictures. :)
    I really enjoyed the origami cranes.-Very creative! Thank you for sharing with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #27.

    1. Thank you. Yes, the origami cranes are so cool! You're welcome.

  13. Amy, thank you for sharing this post with us at WTJR! I love learning about wildlife foundations in other states. This is one of my features for this week's WTJR, thank you again.

  14. Oh they are so pretty. What a wonderful foundation.
    Thanks so very much for sharing about these cranes and the foundation with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friend.

    1. Yes, it's a very special place. You're welcome.

  15. I am so happy you found this place and blogged about it to get the word out. I have been aware of it since its inception because my parents were foundational supporters and volunteers back in the 80's. We made family trips at least once every summer until Mom passed away (as a member, she would get 4 free tickets every year and my brother had reciprocal free entry as a member of a conservation group in his home state). It really is a great facility and the cranes are incredible to see. My favorites are the Sarus cranes, the tallest flying bird in the world.

    1. Thank you. I'm happy I found it too but geez, I wish I had known about it years earlier. What an amazing place!


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.