Birding in North Dakota

North Dakota’s prairies are home to about 400 native birds, including the Burrowing Owl, Prairie Falcon, Bohemian Waxwing, and many more. There are over 60 sites in North Dakota that are known best for birding.

Ring-necked Pheasant. Photo from Google.

For people who don’t know much about birding, it is observing all types of birds in their natural habitat. This hobby is popular in our state because of the variety of birds we have. The different habitats in our state bring different birds, the Badlands have birds like the Red-eye Vireos, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Spotted Towhees. The croplands have birds like Killdeers, Horned Larks, and Ring-necked Pheasants. The Deciduous Forests of North Dakota, associated with the Missouri River has birds like Wild Turkeys, Great Horned Owl, and Eastern Bluebirds. The other habitats around the state include the Coniferous Forest, Hayfields and Conservation Reserve Program, Mixed-Grass Prairie, Prairie Wetlands, and Tallgrass Prairie.

Yellow-breasted Chat. Photo from Google.


In North Dakota, the best time for birding is late May through early July, but migration for the birds in North Dakota happens in October. That is when you can see big flocks of waterfowl. If you wish to try to find rare waterfowl, raptor, and gull species, going birding in November and December if the best time.

Great Horned Owl. Photo from Google.

A birding tip from Ron Martin, a local birding expert and co-author of Birding North Dakota, is to learn the songs of the birds. Often times, you will hear the song of the bird before you see the bird, and knowing the song will help you identify the bird.

Ron Martin and Dan Svingen wrote Birding North Dakota to help other birding enthusiasts in the state know where to go and what to look for and how to identify birds they see. Birding North Dakota covers types of birds, places to go, the habitats, when to go, how to dress when you go, and anything else you think you might need while on a birding outing.


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