TOUR #3023 – Early Morning Fly-out with Dr. Gary Ivey – November 5, 2023

Early morning fly-outs are special. It is so peaceful at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve as the night gives way to scarlet colors in the east. The air is usually misty, and the wetlands are filled with ghostly figures. As the sun begins to rise, Sandhill Cranes begin their rattled calls. Then one of the leaders leans forward and dozens of cranes leap to the sky. Then more and more groups begin their flight to the surrounding fields to forage. Best of all, Dr. Gary Ivey will be there to share his knowledge and answer your questions. Depending on weather and the Sandhill Cranes, your group will do some roving along Woodbridge Road to watch them as they are feeding. The early morning can be foggy so drive carefully. Woodbridge Road is narrow with deep canals along some stretches.

Dr. Ivey works with the International Crane Foundation as a Research Associate and is an expert on Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway. He has worked with wildlife for over 40 years, concentrating his work on waterbirds, waterfowl, and wetland conservation. He studied nesting ecology of Sandhill Cranes for his Master’s Thesis and wintering ecology of Sandhill Cranes for his PhD, both from Oregon State University.

LANDS PASS REQUIRED: A Lands Pass or hunting or fishing license is required for this tour. Click here  for more information about how to purchase a Lands Pass. You will be required to show your pass or license.

TOUR TIME: 5:45 a.m. – 7:55 a.m.


DIRECTIONS: This tour begins in the dark at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve NORTH UNIT parking lot, located 2 miles West of Interstate 5. Watch for the sign on your right. Be sure to allow extra time to arrive, as there may be morning rain or fog. Meet Dr. Ivey at 5:45 a.m. in the parking lot. After check in, you will drive a short distance on a gravel road to the shelter. Please park with your headlights facing away from the fence.


OTHER TOURS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST: You may be interested in knowing that other Sandhill Crane tours are available during the fall and winter. For more information about California Department of Fish and Wildlife tours during the season go to this CDFW website. For information about Sandhill Crane tours through the Cosumnes River Preserve, chick here.

Adult: $45.00
Youth: $38.00
Child: $18.00

Book this tour beginning September 5, 2023

Tour guides will receive a list of customers who have registered by October 28, 2023.

Customers who register online for a tour after that date must show the guide a hard copy or phone display of the email receipt. The receipt may go to your spam folder.

Unsold tickets will be available during the festival and can be purchased on this website.

This map can be used to search for the best route to your tour from your current location. Drive time from Hutchins Street Square in Lodi, California to this tour is approximately 20 minutes.


Meet Dr. Ivey at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve NORTH UNIT by 5:45 am. Don’t forget your Lands Pass. DAY LIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS ON SATURDAY

QUESTIONS REGARDING REGISTRATION: Contact the Registration Coordinator at or leave a message at (800) 581-6150. Notify the Registration Coordinator in advance if special accommodations are needed. Expect a response from the Coordinator within the week.




Cancellation Policy: Full refunds (minus a 3% processing fee) are available prior to a tour upon the customer’s request at A full refund is automatically issued for any events cancelled by the festival organizers.

EXPLORE MORE! Click below to explore Guides, Detailed Schedule, FAQ’s (click on a topic to see more), and Contact us if you have additional questions.

Dr. Gary Ivey
Research Associate
Gary Ivey works with the International Crane Foundation as a Research Associate and is an expert on Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway.

Check in with your guide at 5:45 a.m. at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve NORTH UNIT parking lot.

The tour will end around 7:55, depending on the cranes and weather

It is best to dress in layers. The Delta can be very cool in the morning and evening, but quite warm in the afternoon.

There is no food or water available on this tour so participants are encouraged to bring a snack and a bottle of water if they like.

Yes, this tour requires a Lands Pass. For more information go to

Yes, it is a good idea to bring one or all of these.

There are pot-a-potties at Woodbridge Ecological 

The port-a-potties are handicap accessible

You will be driving, getting in and out of your car, and walking a short ways. You may have to walk on uneven ground and/or along narrow shoulders of the road

Parts of the tour is wheelchair accessible, but not all

In general, it is not acceptable to bring dogs to the festival or on tours because they may interfere with other participants or disturb wildlife. 

There are many insects, including mosquitos in the Delta, so long sleeve shirts and long pants are recommended. Insect repellent is recommended.

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