Hunters urged to watch out for whooping cranes

Bismarck, ND – Whooping cranes have now been reported at two North Dakota wildlife refuges.

And the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service wants to warn hunters that there are differences between the whooping crane -- which cannot be hunted -- and the sandhill crane.

Mike Mc-Enroe with the Fish and Wildlife Service says there are differences.

"Well, the whooper is the white crane. It's very striking. Although, in early light, that half-an-hour before sundown on a cloudy day, you're shooting silhouettes or birds that appear to be dark. But in good light, the whooper is sparkling white with the black wing-tips. The sandhill crane is going to be grey, and while their wingtips are going to be darker, they're not black."

McEnroe says the whooping cranes are larger, too -- but in the shadows of late afternoon, that's also not easy to tell.

Cranes have been sighted at the Long Lake Refuge east of Bismarck and at Lake Audubon.