South Dakota’s Great Places: Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding

South Dakota’s Great Places: Glacial Lakes and Prairies Birding
A western tanager in northeast South Dakota. (Department of Tourism photo)

A western tanager in northeast South Dakota. (Department of Tourism photo)

PIERRE, S.D. – Some of South Dakota’s Great Places are along the birding trail in northeast South Dakota. The 38 trail sites are home to more than 300 species of birds.

This region is known to be one of the most productive waterfowl breeding areas in North America. The rivers, streams and lakes in the area provide hundreds of miles of shoreline. In these types of habitats songbirds, marsh birds and shorebirds are common. Rare grassland habitat is also prevalently found in the area because of the tall and mixed grasses.

The Glacial Lakes & Prairies Birding Trail brochure describes each of 38 sites with several categories for the birder’s convenience. Categories include what the habitat is, which birds to look for, tips and insider information, best birding months and contact information. A free copy of the Glacial Lakes & Prairies Birding Trail brochure can be obtained by calling 1-800-244-8660. An online copy of the birding guide can be viewed here:

Here are a few reminders before you head out birding. Take caution and slow down when driving on gravel roads in wet and snowy conditions. In many areas, it is recommended that you walk rather than attempt to drive on rough roads, so watch for “No vehicles beyond this point” signs. While there is an abundance of public land in northeast South Dakota, continue to be considerate and respectful of other birders, hunters or photographers.

South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Places” link at to access the complete list of articles.

— From a Department of Tourism news release

Tags: Birding

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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