If your are into bird watching, the North Dakota Department of Game and Fish has a task for you! According to the Bismarck Tribune, about 500 Whooping Cranes have started their migration from their wintering grounds in Texas to their nesting grounds in Canada. In order to track the endangered birds, North Dakotans are being asked to keep their eyes open and report Whooping Crane sightings.

The Bismarck Tribune states that Whooping Cranes can be identified by their tall stature, broad wing span, and their white wings with black tips. The report instructs people who spot any Whooping Cranes to call the US Fish and Wildlife Service at Lostwood or the Game and Fish headquarters in Bismarck. Get the full story and more details on spotting Whooping Cranes from the Bismarck Tribune here.

Don't you love learning about the natural beauty in North Dakota - even if it is rare and passing? I don't believe I have ever seen a real life Whooping Crane and I definitely had no idea that they made stops in North Dakota. So, I decided to learn a little more about the endangered species.

What I learned is kind of heartbreaking news: these beautiful creatures could easily become extinct. Even though the Whooping Crane population has increased over the decades, there are still several hundred birds today. According to All About Birds, "The species declined to around 20 birds in the 1940s but, through captive breeding, wetland management, and an innovative program that teaches young cranes how to migrate, numbers have risen to about 600 today." You can learn more about majestic Whooping Cranes here.

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