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North Dakota Game and Fish Department urging snow geese hunters to be aware of whooping cranes


BISMARCK, North Dakota — Snow geese are making their way through North Dakota, and the state Game and Fish Department is reminding hunters that endangered whooping cranes also are in the midst of their spring migration.

Officials are advising hunters to properly identify their target before shooting because other white birds such as snow geese, pelicans, swans and egrets often are mistaken for whooping cranes.

Anyone who spots a whooper is asked to report the sighting so the birds can be tracked. Whooping cranes stand about 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of about 7 feet. They are 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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