Common Questions - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Common Questions

Our headquarters is temporarily closed. We look forward to welcoming you back to our campus when we can safely open. In the meantime, save the date for our Grand Opening celebration on May 1, 2021. Thank you for your support and patience!

View our Facebook album for photos of our headquarters’ renovation.

Are the cranes at your site wild?
No. The International Crane Foundation is home to a captive population of cranes that we care for year-round. Our birds do not migrate. As a visitor to our site,  you have the opportunity to meet all 15 crane species during our visitor season April 15 – October 31.

Do we need reservations for a group tour?
Yes. All groups must have advance registration for tours. Group tours and school field trips can be scheduled by contacting the Conservation Education Department at 608-356-9462, ext. 127.

Beginning in fall 2018, the International Crane Foundation will embark on a $10 million expansion and renovation. As a result, our headquarters is temporarily closed.  Learn more about our current re-opening plans.

How long should we plan on staying?
Most visitors spend at least two hours on site. It is best to schedule two to four hours.

Do you have a gift shop?
Yes. The Gift Shop offers a wonderful array of items from around the world, as well as clothing, books, light snacks, and drinks.

How long is the guided tour?
Guided tours usually last 1.5 – 2 hours.

How far is the guided walking tour?
The entire paved trail system through our crane exhibit area is approximately a half-mile. The walking tour is very slow paced and there are benches, drinking water, and covered seating throughout the site.

How hilly is your site?
The main exhibit area, where tours take place, has paved ADA accessible trails with gentle slopes. However, the unpaved nature trails do traverse several larger hills and some are uneven and steep.

Is the tour indoors or out?
Tours begin indoors in the Cudahy Visitor Center theatre. The remainder of the tour is outdoors. Tours run rain or shine, so please dress accordingly. However, guided tours will not go outside when it is lightning.

Is there shade available during the tour?
There are several shaded areas in our Spirit of Africa exhibit and our Amoco Whooping Crane Exhibit. However, please be prepared for exposure to sun during your visit.

What is the latest that we could schedule a guided tour?
The latest a tour can be scheduled is 3:30 p.m. to accommodate for a 1.5 – 2 hour tour prior to our site closing.

Can the covered gazebo be reserved for our group?
The covered gazebo can be reserved in advance by calling 608-356-9462 ext. 127.

Are there vending machines or food available?
Our gift shop sells beverages and a variety of healthy snacks. There are no concessions on our site.

Are there hotels, restaurants, or campgrounds nearby?
Our site is located a short distance from Baraboo and the Wisconsin Dells. For information on restaurants and lodging, please visit:

Do I have to take a guided tour?
No. You may also explore the site on your own.

When is the best time to see cranes dancing?
Cranes dance and call throughout the year. These behaviors tend to be more frequent during breeding season in spring and early summer.

When is the best time of year to visit?
Each season offers something different. Spring flowers and dramatic threat displays from the cranes greet our early season visitors. Summer treats visitors to an explosion of color in our exhibits and on our prairie. Autumn colors are spectacular on our site and all over south-central Wisconsin.

When is the best time of day to visit in order to avoid crowds?
We host approximately 8,000 school children each year. During the months of April, May, and early June, please consider visiting us in the afternoon or on the weekends if you would prefer to avoid large school groups.

Do you have any wheelchairs available?
We have several wheelchairs and individual motorized scooters available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Is there a storage area available?
There are no lockers or storage areas on the site.

Do you have baby changing facilities on site?
Baby changing facilities are available in the Cudahy Visitor Center’s restrooms.

Can I feed the cranes?
No. Our cranes are given scientifically formulated diets. To ensure the health and well-being of our cranes, please do not feed them.

Can I pet the cranes?
No. For the safety of you and the cranes, please do not attempt to touch the birds.

If I visit in the fall, will your cranes already have migrated?
The cranes that live at the International Crane Foundation are captive birds and do not migrate.

Can I bring a camera and/or video camera?
YES! We encourage you to take a lot of photos and video! The International Crane Foundation is the only place in the world where visitors can see all 15 species of cranes.

Can I bring my pet?
We do not allow pets beyond the admissions area for the safety of our birds. We appreciate your cooperation.

If I find an injured crane, can I bring it to the International Crane Foundation?
We do not accept injured or orphaned animals. Please contact the National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association.

Still have questions? Please contact the Conservation Education Department at 608-356-9462 ext. 127.

Common Questions