Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 41

Dakota Digest Whooping Crane Migration ND Game & Fish Dept. Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through the Dakotas the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked. Whoopers stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of 2-3 birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes. Other white birds like snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below. Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location, and the birds' activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity. Whooping crane sightings should be reported to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices at Lostwood, 701-848-2466, or Long Lake, 701-387-4397, national wildlife refuges; the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, 701-328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state. Reports help biologists locate important whooping crane habitat areas, monitor marked birds, determine survival and population numbers, and identify times and migration routes. Pete’s TRACTOR SALVAGE 2163 15th Ave. NE Anamoose, North Dakota Used Tractor, Combine, Machinery Parts The Largest Salvage Yard in North Dakota! Pete & Delilah Engen Over 40 Years in Business! (701) 465-3274 (800) 541-7383 email: ptractor@gondtc.com www.petestractor.com www.dakotacountrymagazine.com Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 41