Birding Adventures Await in North Dakota
"When bird watchers die (or, as my dad would say, shoot through), they must go to North Dakota in June. Heaven just wouldn't measure up. Consider: It's beautiful, waving with grasses, studded with countless wetlands, overarched by majestic skyscapes. It's crammed seemingly past capacity with birds, many hard to see elsewhere, all breeding." Wrote Julie Zickefoose for Bird Watcher's Digest.
North Dakota is smack dab in the middle of the Central Flyway, making it a top destination for millions of birds. The action-packed spring migration season provides astounding opportunities to see birds in their natural habitat, boasting beautiful breeding plumage.
Birding drives and hiking trails present beautiful, unspoiled scenery and wildlife, and the opportunity to see, hear and photograph a large variety of birds. Checklists are available from many locations, including North Dakota's state parks and from the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.
North Dakota has 63 national wildlife refuges - more than any other state. Many refuges have insfrastructure like visitor centers, auto routes and photography blinds.
Throughout the state, visitors will also find a network of trails, like Birding Drives Dakota with six distinct drives and the International Adventure Trail, a network of 15 notable birding sites situated on both sides of the U.S. and Canada border, in and around the Turtle Mountain region. The trail takes you through North Dakota and Southwestern Manitoba, providing beginner and avid birders plenty of opportunitie to experience our beautiful and unique prairie landscape.
North Dakota Birding Resources
A number of additional birding resources are also available. The North Dakota Birding Society hosts a birding discussion listserv. Birders can subscribe to the list and see archives. North Dakota Parks and Recreation has checklists available online and a list of the parks in the state with the types of species found there.
If birding takes you to the northwestern part of the state, consider downloading the Northwest ND Birding Guide.
Be sure to check out the lists of birding events taking place annually. visitors will find popular events from festivals to Christmas counts.
Al Batt wrote in Bird Watcher's Digest, "The birds were so magnificent that I sometimes forgot to breathe. Birding in North Dakota is sitting in the catbird seat."