Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in South Dakota

From prairie marshes, rolling hills, and lakes to lush mountain meadows and towering granite peaks, South Dakota’s diverse terrain is home to various habitats and nearly 400 species of birds, including raptors like hawks, eagles, and falcons.

The state’s grasslands provide essential hunting grounds for the Swainson’s Hawk, while open areas support the ferruginous hawk’s hunting needs. The prairie falcons thrive in the expansive prairies, emphasizing the interconnectedness of the raptor species and the environment.

Hawks Eagles and Falcons in South Dakota (SD)

List of Different Types of Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in South Dakota


There are two types of eagles native to South Dakota.

  • Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle


  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • American Goshawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk (Accidental)

The ferruginous hawk, the largest of the Buteo hawks, is a native of South Dakota. They can be found in all the seasons in the state. Though a considerable population migrates southward from South Dakota, some stay behind in some parts of the state, even during winter. The Cooper’s hawk is found year-round in and around forests and forest edges.



  • Osprey


  • Northern Harrier

Several rivers in the Black Hills and Badlands attract golden eagles, bald eagles, and ferruginous hawks. In winter, the rough-legged hawk and golden eagle can be viewed in the Fort Pierre National Grasslands. The Oahe Downstream Recreation Area has dozens of bald eagles roosting and feeding along the Missouri River. In spring and fall, birders can see ospreys regularly here. Golden eagles and rough-legged hawks visit the Fort Pierre National Grasslands in winter.

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