Birding in North Dakota

North Dakota's location on the Northern Plains makes it a gathering place for hundreds of bird species. The Central Flyway through central and eastern North Dakota is like an interstate for migrating waterfowl making their way to and from breeding grounds in the spring and fall. Many simply stay put when reaching our many lakes and rivers. Four distinct seasons and many different habitats attract other smaller and sometimes rare species. Click here for Birding experiences.

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.

Throughout the state, visitors will also find a network of trails, like Birding Drives Dakota with six distinct drives providing beginner and avid birders plenty of opportunities to experience our beautiful and unique prairie landscape.

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.



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. North Dakota has 63 national wildlife refuges - more than any other state. Many refuges have infrastructure like visitor centers, auto routes and photography blinds.