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Public asked to report whooping crane sightings in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Endangered whooping cranes will be passing through North Dakota over the next several weeks during their spring migration.

The state Game and Fish Department is asking anyone who spots one of the birds to report the sighting to state or federal wildlife officials 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.

Whooping cranes are federally protected, and Game and Fish says people who spot them should not disturb them.