Public asked to report whooping crane sightings as endangered birds make fall migration

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BISMARCK, North Dakota — Endangered whooping cranes will be passing through North Dakota over the next several weeks during their fall migration.

The state Game and Fish Department is asking anyone who sees one of the federally protected birds to report it to state or federal wildlife officials so the whoopers can be tracked. People who spot them should be careful not to disturb them.

Spotters are asked to record the date, time, location and the bird's activity. They're also asked to look for any colored leg bands.

Whooping cranes are about 5 feet tall with a 7-foot wingspan. They're bright white with black wing tips. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, and their legs extend out behind them. They usually fly alone or in small groups, sometimes with sandhill cranes.

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