Holiday with the Cranes


We’re excited to report that Sandhill Cranes have begun arriving on the Island in small flocks. Soon we’ll have hundreds of these elegant birds wintering with us, as they take advantage of our milder climate and plentiful food resources.

To celebrate the  arrival of these 3-4 foot tall, red-capped visitors, we invite you to join Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council in what’s been dubbed by the New York Times as “one of the quirkiest events in Texas” – Holiday with the Cranes!

This year our crane celebration is going virtual. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to participate in a fun and engaging online presentation on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10:00am.

Over past years many of you have joined us in person to learn about this amazing crane species. Each expert speaker has offered unique insights into the “Sandies” habitat, characteristics and behaviors. This year you can have an equally informative experience from the comfort of your own home – anywhere in the world. Holiday with the Cranes also makes a unique nature gift for friends and family.

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor Sand ‘N Sea Properties

Photo: Barbara Rabek
Photo: Barbara Rabek





We are pleased to announce that Glenn Olsen will join us via Zoom for this live presentation.  One of only two regularly occurring crane species in Texas, the Sandhill Crane is easily found during winter months along our coast. This winter Texan haunts our marshes, prairies, fields, and even our island golf courses.

A tall, elegant bird with an ash-gray body and a red beret, the Sandhill Crane has quite an interesting life and background. The melodious calls of a flock of Sandhill Cranes can stir a deep, primal feeling akin to hearing the voice of a long-lost friend.

Join us to learn about the history of this important species and some amusing and interesting aspects of its behavior and connection with humans. Then when you’re ready to see the birds for yourself, you can download our special map and take a self-guided tour of all the Galveston West End Sandhill Crane hot spots.


Glenn leads natural history and birding tours with GOBirding Ecotours to some of the hottest birding locations worldwide. Destinations include the U.S, as well as the Galapagos Islands, Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Honduras and other exotic sites.  His tours include aspects of the culture, ecology and natural history of the region.  In addition, Glenn is a member of and has served on boards of several birding and nature organizations.

He is an innovative educator and shares his knowledge in a variety of venues.  Glenn’s classes at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies encompass the identification of birds, gardening for birds, butterflies and pollinators, sustainable landscaping, native plants and other nature related subjects. At Houston Audubon his classes focus on the identification of the many birds found in Texas. Glenn completed the Master Naturalist course and provides classes for the program.  His curiosity and knowledge of Sandhill Cranes is guaranteed to delight participants during the 2020 Virtual Holiday with the Cranes Event.

Photo: Barbara Rabek