Photos: Sandhill cranes dine and rest at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks

Sandhill cranes feed on barley planted to mature in time for the gathering of the birds at CreamerÕs Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State CreamerÕs Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of sandhill cranes flies over Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of sandhill cranes flies over Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night. 140827
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sandhill cranes feed on barley planted to mature in time for the gathering of the birds at Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A sandhill crane comes in for a landing at Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sandhill cranes feed on barley planted to mature in time for the gathering of the birds at Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A sandhill crane comes up in the air to do a jump-rake at Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Sandhill cranes face off at Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A pair of sandhill cranes flies over Creamer’s Field. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy, cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A few to the thousands of sandhill cranes that gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall feed before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A few to the thousands of sandhill cranes that gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall feed before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A few to the thousands of sandhill cranes that gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall feed before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
A few to the thousands of sandhill cranes that gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall feed before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
One of the thousands of sandhill cranes that gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall feed before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
The old Creamer dairy barn at sunset in Fairbanks. Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Thousands of sandhill cranes gather at the Alaska State Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall before their migration south on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 in Fairbanks, AK. After feeding on mature barley planted at the former dairy cranes fly off to marshy areas to roost for the night.
Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News
Bob Hallinen

Thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and ducks gather at Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, in Fairbanks in the fall to fuel up for the migration south.

Barley is planted at the former dairy to mature in time for the birds to feed on. The 2,000-acre refuge has 300 acres of fields, 150 of which are planted in barley to draw the waterfowl. The original dairy was started in 1905, and the refuge was later created in cooperation with the dairy family and the state of Alaska.

It is believed that the sandhill cranes are a subset that summers in the Tanana Valley. Transmitters placed on four cranes at the refugee have been tracked to western Texas. The cranes are part of the midcontinent group with around 600,000 members. The number of sandhill cranes peaks at the refugee in late August.