STAFFORD, Kan. (AP) — Two adult whooping cranes have been reported at a wildlife refuge in central Kansas, marking an early fall return for the endangered birds.
The Wichita Eagle reports the two whooping cranes were seen this weekend at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County.
Barry Jones, visitor services specialist at the refuge, says the earliest record of the birds arriving at Quivira was in 2000, when a pair arrived Oct. 6. The first sighting this fall was Oct. 10, when another pair of the whooping cranes rested in refuge’s south end of the Little Salt Marsh.
The two this weekend were in the northwest corner of the Little Salt Marsh.
About two dozen of the large birds pass through Quivira and nearby Cheyenne Bottoms in Barton County each fall migration.
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