Whooping crane sightings to increase in North Dakota

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) State wildlife officials say sightings of whooping cranes are expected to increase in North Dakota over the next several weeks.

The endangered birds are in the midst of their spring migration.

The whooping cranes that make their way through North Dakota each spring are part of a population of about 500 birds migrating from their wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to their nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.

That's a distance of about 2,500 miles.

Whooping cranes stand about 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of about 7 feet from tip to tip.

Anyone seeing whooping cranes is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.