Birds in North Dakota

North Dakota is home to a diverse range of bird species. It is home to numerous species of wild birds. While some of these species spend the entire year in North Dakota, others are seasonal residents. The western meadowlark (Sturnella Neglecta) was recognized as North Dakota’s official state bird in 1947.

Birds of North Dakota is a collection of birds found in the United States of America’s state of North Dakota. The list is based on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s April 2016 Checklist of North Dakota Birds (NDGFD). The NDGFD’s basic list contains 375 confirmed and existing species, two extinct species, and twenty possible species.

Three new species have been added to the list of species under review by the North Dakota Bird Records Committee (NDBRC). There are 400 species in the combined lists. 151 of them and a subspecies are under review. According to the NDGFD, 44 species are considered accidental, whereas six species have been imported to North America.

We’ll look at some of the most identifiable and well-known birds in North Dakota in this post, focusing on those located near to home.

North Dakota birds of prey 

Raptors are great predators with powerful gripping feet and razor-sharp claws, a hooked upper beak, and exceptional vision. Raptors in North Dakota include hawks, eagles, and falcons. These birds of prey exist in a variety of forms and sizes, inhabit a variety of habitats, and eat a variety of things, ranging from insects to reptiles to mammals.

Continue to be curious and learn more about North Dakota’s birds of prey.

Eagles in North Dakota

North Dakota had fewer than a dozen active bald eagle nesting sites in the early 2000s.

Bald eagle populations are expanding in North Dakota, and they can be spotted at any time of year. Adult and juvenile bald eagles migrate through the state in great numbers throughout the months of March/April and October/November. Eagles nesting in North Dakota will be actively exploiting their nest site in the spring.

Today, there are over 300 nesting sites, and it is not uncommon to witness the beautiful birds soaring above North Dakota, notably between the Missouri River in western North Dakota and the Red River on the state’s eastern border.

View other images of these eagles below.

Owls in North Dakota

Owls contribute significantly to the environment as predators by controlling small animal populations. Due to the fact that mammals are a key prey item, this can be especially helpful for humans, as it reduces the amount of food lost to rodents each year. Additionally, barn owls provide food for other animals.

North Dakota is home to nine different owl species, but only four of them nest here regularly. The barn owl’s white heart-shaped face readily identifies it. It has a wingspan of around 3.5-4 feet.

Listed below are some of the owls found in North Dakota.

Finches of North Dakota

Finches are seed-eating passerine birds that range in size from small to somewhat large. They have a powerful beak that is normally conical in shape but can grow to be quite enormous in some species. Each species has twelve tail feathers and nine primary feathers.

These birds fly with a bounce, alternating between bouts of flapping and gliding on closed wings, and the majority sing beautifully. In North Dakota, fourteen species have been identified.

Listed below are some of the finches found in North Dakota.

Hummingbirds of North Dakota

In North Dakota, hummingbirds are uncommon. Initially, only the Ruby-throated was recorded here, but other species have been sighted on occasion.

The Turtle Mountains, Pembina Hills, forested areas near Devils Lake, the valleys of the Sheyenne and Red rivers, and to a lesser extent, the Missouri River, receive the majority of reports of these birds. They are most numerous during August’s late summer migration and during the spring migration.

The following is a list of hummingbirds found in North Dakota.

Backyard birds of North Dakota

North Dakota’s nickname, ‘The Peace Garden State,’ indicates that it is a bird-friendly state.

North Dakota is home to an astonishing 376 bird species, which is more than enough to keep a birder occupied. While we cannot possibly list them all, we will sample some of the local variety, first categorizing the birds as follows: Year-round Residents, Spring, Summer, and Early Fall Birds, and Fall and Winter Birds

This section will focus on a few of our favorite, common backyard species found in North Dakota.

Best Birdwatching Spots in North Dakota

North Dakota may probably be the country’s most underrated birding destination. Birders who visit in the late spring or summer will immediately recognize what makes the state unique: parks and refuges with distinctive grassland and wetland birds, ease of transit, and a complete lack of crowds. Not to be overlooked is the sense of liberation that comes with exploring wide-open landscapes with dumpsters in hand.

North Dakota acts as a highway for migrating ducks on their way to and from breeding areas throughout the spring and fall migration seasons. When they reach our numerous lakes and rivers, many simply stay put.

The following are the top five birding locations in North Dakota.

  1. Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve
  2. Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  3. Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Garrison Dam

Other North Dakota bird

In North Dakota, summer is the season for Western Meadowlarks, Eastern Kingbirds, and Yellow Warblers, while winter is the season for Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, and White-breasted Nuthatches. Other birds are visible throughout the year. Learn more about these birds by reading on.

If you have encountered a bird in North Dakota that you cannot identify yourself, we’ll be happy to identify it for you. Simply take a picture of it and upload your picture, a quick description and the U.S. state where it was found here on our bird identification page

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