Sandhill Cranes are some of the most populous species of cranes in the world with six distinct migratory populations in North America. Those Sandhill Cranes that migrate to Tennessee during the winter make up a large portion of the eastern population. Tennessee averages about 29,000 cranes. There are two areas that serve as a primary migration area for the cranes: Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge and Hop-in Refuge near Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee. To honor the migration, Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge hosts an annual festival. Another great way to experience the Sandhill Crane is to take a kayak tour
in the Hiwassee Wildlife refuge. This option has guided times available from November to February.