NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A flock of endangered birds stopped by a local lake for a rare sighting, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said.
Earlier this week, the wildlife department announced that it received the first verified report of whooping cranes at Lake Thunderbird in Cleveland County. Officials say the endangered birds were on their way to the Texas coastline for winter.
Officials say a flock of 10 endangered whooping cranes roosted in the area before leaving early Saturday morning.
“Whooping cranes are a federally endangered bird, with slightly more than 500 birds in the entire wild flock,” Matt Fullerton, endangered species biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said last year. “A majority of those birds will pass through Oklahoma on their return flight from Canada to South Texas.”
Most whooping cranes are reported in Oklahoma from mid-October through November.