GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) Wildlife officials say five whooping cranes are spending the winter in south-central Kansas.
The five endangered birds have been on private land surrounding the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms State Wildlife Area.
Dan Severson, Quivira’s refuge manager, said in a news release Tuesday that the birds include a family of three, one juvenile crane and a single adult.
The birds usually stop in Kansas on their way to the Texas coast, but these birds appear to be settling in.
Severson says it’s possible the birds are staying because of the ongoing drought, combined with a mild winter. He says that leaves a steady source of food and water in the area.