Outdoors briefly

G&F advisory board meetings scheduled

Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend a North Dakota Game and Fish Department advisory board meeting in their area. These public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisers and agency personnel.

In addition, prior to each meeting this spring, Game and Fish, along with other conservation partners, will hold an informational session for landowners interested in qualifying land for the Conservation Reserve Program general signup May 20-June 14. These special sessions begin an hour before the regular meeting, with a short formal presentation at 6:30 p.m.

District 3

Counties: Benson, Cavalier, Eddy, Ramsey, Rolette and Towner

Date: April 15, 7 p.m.

Location: Esmond

Advisory board member: Tom Rost, Devils Lake, 662-8620.

District 1

Counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams

Date: April 16, 7 p.m.

Location: Civic Center, Watford City

Host: McKenzie County Pheasants Forever

Contact: Rick Pokrzywinski, 842-3174

Advisory board member: Jason Leiseth, Arnegard, 586-3714.

District 2

Counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville and Ward

Date: April 17, 7 p.m.

Location: Grand International Inn, Minot

Host: Pheasants for the Future

Contact: Jon Hughes, 500-5478

Advisory board member: Robert Gjellstad, Voltaire, 338-2281.

District 7

Counties: Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan and Sioux

Date: April 18, 7 p.m.

Location: Community Center, Tuttle

Host: Tuttle Wildlife Club

Contact: Randal Sand, 867-2513

Advisory board member: Frank Kartch, Bismarck, 516-2156.

Whooping crane migration monitored

Whooping cranes are in the midst of their spring migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.

Whoopers stand about 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of about 7 feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight, they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of two or three birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes.

Other white birds such as snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below.

Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location and the birds’ activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.

Whooping crane sightings should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Lostwood, 848-2466, or Long Lake, 387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s main office in Bismarck at 328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state.

DUCKumentary at Audubon NWR

The Audubon Refuge Partners volunteers will host a free viewing of the PBS film, “An Original DUCKumentary” on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 p.m. This one-hour film will introduce you to the world of ducks, and showcases a handful of the more than 120 species as they make their way through the places they call home. Kids of all ages have laughed and learned from this film during field trips to the refuge!

This DUCKumentary follows a variety of ducks during several fascinating stages of their lives. After the film participants can nail together a wood duck nest box, which can be taken home or donated to the refuge or other groups for installation in wood duck habitat. Nest box builders should bring a hammer with them for this activity.

The location for this event is the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, located three miles north of Coleharbor on U.S. Highway 83, and one mile east. This is a free event. No pre-registration is required. Popcorn, coffee and pop will be provided during and after the film. For additional information, please call 442-5474, ext. 110.