Birds of South Dakota

The diverse landscape of South Dakota, from rolling and flat-topped hills to plains and grasslands, makes way for numerous bird species inhabiting the state. Some prominent birding hotspots include the Mount Rushmore National Monument, Lake Oahe region, and the Fort Pierre National Grasslands.

There are around 438 documented bird species throughout the state, which the South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union or SDOU accepts. 

The ring-necked pheasant known for its color plumage has been South Dakota’s state bird since 1943.

Birds of South Dakota
  • Common Loon
  • Pacific Loon
  • Ring-Neck Pheasant
  • American Dipper
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Brown Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Cormorant
  • Black-bellied Whistling-duck
  • Anhinga
  • Wood Stork
  • American Bittern  
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Little  Blue Heron
  • Snowy Egret
  • Cattle Egret
  • Green Heron
  • American Crow
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • Great Roadrunner
  • Northern Harrier
  • Osprey
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Golden Eagle
  • Bald Eagle
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Gyrfalcon
  • House Sparrow
  • Purple Finch
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Lapland Longspur
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Whooping Crane
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Snowy Owl
  • Barred Owl
  • American Goldfinch
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe               
  • Barn Swallow
  • Blue Jay
  • Marsh Wren

Backyard Birds:

All-year-round: Ring-Neck Pheasant, Mourning Dove, Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, Blue Jay

Migratory Birds:

In Summer: Northern Cardinal, Canada Geese, Snow Geese, American Goldfinch, Piping Plover

In Winter: Purple Finch, Lapland Longspur, Dark-eyed Junco, Downy Woodpecker, House Sparrow

Birds of Prey: Northern Harrier, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Bald Eagle

Water Birds: American Dipper,Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Great Egret

Common Birds Identification by Color

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Blue Jay
  • Little Blue Heron

Black Birds