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Bird Checklists of the United States

Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge

Martin, South Dakota


Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 and is administered by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Refuge is located in Bennett County in southwestern South Dakota. It lies in the shallow Lake Creek Valley on the northern edge of the Nebraska Sandhills and includes 16,410 acres of native sandhills, sub-irrigated meadows, impounded fresh water marshes, and shortgrass prairie uplands. This is the region where the transition of eastern and western flora and fauna occurs. The wildlife concentrations include a wide variety of like forms from aquatic and marsh dwelling species to fauna typical of the shortgrass prairie.

Endangered or threatened species that have been observed on the refuge include: the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and whooping crane. The burrowing owl, merlin, osprey and ferruginous hawk, listed as threatened or endangered by the state of South Dakota, are also sighted occasionally on the Refuge.

Waterfowl observed include many species of ducks and geese, but the most sought after species is the trumpeter swan. The Lacreek swan flock originated from cygnets obtained from Red Rock Lakes NWR, in Montana in the early 1960's. Pioneering trumpeters now nest in both South Dakota and Nebraska, with approximately 250 birds returning to Lacreek each fall to spend the winter. Average annual refuge production includes 15-20 trumpeter swans, 2,000-6,000 ducks, and 500-800 Canada geese. Spring concentrations of 14,000 ducks and geese and fall concentrations of 22,000 are not uncommon.

Other bird attractions at Lacreek include the white pelican-cormorant nesting colony and early spring and late summer concentrations of shorebirds and songbirds.

This bird list contains 273 species of birds which have been recorded on the Refuge. The column at the left is provided to serve as a field checklist for recording species observed.


An "*" denotes species that nest, or have nested, on the Refuge.
Relative abundance of each species is defined by the following:

Sp - March-May
Su - June-August
F - September-November
W - December-February

c - common: present in large numbers due to abundance of habitat
u - uncommon: present in small numbers due to scarcity of habitat
o - occasional: only a few seen during season; or absent some years, common others
r - rare: seen only once every 2 to 5 years
ca - casual: few Refuge records, but expected to occur again
x - accidental: few Refuge records; out of normal range


LOONS AND GREBES Sp Su F W ___ Common Loon x - - - ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c c c r ___ Horned Grebe* o r o - ___ Eared Grebe* c o c - ___ Western Grebe* c o c -
PELICANS AND CORMORANTS Sp Su F W ___ American White Pelican* c c c - ___ Brown Pelican x - - - ___ Double-crested Cormorant* c c c -
HERONS AND IBIS Sp Su F W ___ American Bittern* c c c - ___ Least Bittern r r r - ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c o ___ Great Egret o o r - ___ Snowy Egret r r r - ___ Little Blue Heron r r - - ___ Cattle Egret o o r - ___ Green-backed Heron o o r - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* c c c x ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron ca ca - - ___ White Ibis - x - - ___ White-faced Ibis o o r -
SWANS, GEESE AND DUCKS Sp Su F W ___ Tundra Swan o - o o ___ Trumpeter Swan* c u c c ___ Greater White-fronted Goose c - c r ___ Snow Goose c r c o ___ Ross' Goose o - o r ___ Brant x - - - ___ Canada Goose* c c c c ___ Greylag x - - x ___ Wood Duck* u u u - ___ Green-winged Teal* c u c o ___ American Black Duck r - r r ___ Mallard* c c c c ___ Northern Pintail* c c c o ___ Blue-winged Teal* c c c - ___ Cinnamon Teal* o r r - ___ Northern Shoveler* c u c r ___ Gadwall* c u c r ___ American Wigeon* c o c r ___ Eurasian Wigeon - - x - ___ Canvasback* c o c o ___ Redhead* c o c r ___ Ring-necked Duck c - c o ___ Greater Scaup - - x - ___ Lesser Scaup c r c o ___ White-winged Scoter - - ca - ___ Common Goldeneye c - c u ___ Barrow's Goldeneye - - x - ___ Bufflehead c r c o ___ Hooded Merganser* u o u r ___ Common Merganser u - u u ___ Red-breasted Merganser ca - - - ___ Ruddy Duck* c o c r
VULTURES, HAWKS, AND FALCONS Sp Su F W ___ Turkey Vulture u u u - ___ Osprey o - o r ___ Bald Eagle c r c c ___ Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk)* c c c u ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u - u o ___ Cooper's Hawk u - u o ___ Northern Goshawk o - o o ___ Red-shouldered Hawk ca - - x ___ Broad-winged Hawk r r r - ___ Swainson's Hawk* c u c - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c u c o ___ Ferruginous Hawk* u r u u ___ Rough-legged Hawk c r c c ___ Golden Eagle u u u u ___ American Kestrel* c c c u ___ Merlin u r u o ___ Peregrine Falcon u r u o ___ Gyrfalcon - x - ca ___ Prairie Falcon u u u u
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp Su F W ___ Gray Partridge r r r r ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* c c c c ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* c c c c ___ Wild Turkey* u u u u ___ Northern Bobwhite r r r r
RAILS AND CRANES Sp Su F W ___ Yellow Rail r r - - ___ Virginia Rail* c c c - ___ Sora* c c c - ___ American Coot* c c c r ___ Sandhill Crane c r c - ___ Whooping Crane r - r -
SHOREBIRDS Sp Su F W ___ Black-bellied Plover u o u - ___ American Golden Plover (Lesser Gol-Pl.) r - - - ___ Semipalmated Plover r o r - ___ Piping Plover r r - - ___ Killdeer* c c c o ___ Mountain Plover - x - - ___ Black-necked Stilt r - - - ___ American Avocet* c c c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs c c c r ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c c c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper c c c - ___ Willet* c c c r ___ Spotted Sandpiper* c c c - ___ Upland Sandpiper* c c - - ___ Whimbrel r ca - - ___ Long-billed Curlew* c u o - ___ Hudsonian Godwit o o - - ___ Marbled Godwit* c c u - ___ Ruddy Turnstone r r r - ___ Sanderling r r - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper u u o - ___ Western Sandpiper o u o - ___ Least Sandpiper u c u - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper r r - - ___ Baird's Sandpiper u u o - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper - o u - ___ Stilt Sandpiper u c o - ___ Ruff x - - - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher o o - - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c c c r ___ Common Snipe* c c c o ___ Wilson's Phalarope* c c u - ___ Red-necked Phalarope o o - -
GULLS AND TERNS Sp Su F W ___ Long-tailed Jaeger - - x - ___ Franklin's Gull* c u u - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r - r r ___ Ring-billed Gull c c c o ___ California Gull - - x - ___ Herring Gull o - o r ___ Glaucous Gull x - - - ___ Sabine's Gull - - x - ___ Caspian Tern - - x - ___ Common Tern* o o - - ___ Forster's Tern* c c c - ___ Black Tern* c c o -
DOVES Sp Su F W ___ Rock Dove r o r r ___ Mourning Dove* c c c o
CUCKOOS Sp Su F W ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* - o - - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo - u - -
OWLS Sp Su F W ___ Common Barn Owl o o o o ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* o o o o ___ Great Horned Owl* c c c c ___ Snowy Owl o - r o ___ Burrowing Owl* c c c - ___ Long-eared Owl* o o o o ___ Short-eared Owl* c u c u ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl x - - -
NIGHTJARS Sp Su F W ___ Common Nighthawk u u o -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp Su F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird - r r - ___ Rufous Hummingbird - x - -
KINGFISHERS Sp Su F W ___ Belted Kingfisher c c c o
WOODPECKERS Sp Su F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker u o u - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - - r - ___ Downy Woodpecker c c c c ___ Hairy Woodpecker c c c c ___ Northern Flicker (Common Flicker)* c c c u
FLYCATCHERS Sp Su F W ___ Western Wood-Pewee* o u - - ___ Willow Flycatcher* c c o - ___ Least Flycatcher u u - - ___ Eastern Phoebe o o o - ___ Say's Phoebe o o - - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher u u o - ___ Cassin's Kingbird x - - - ___ Western Kingbird* c c - - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c o - ___ Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - x - -
LARKS Sp Su F W ___ Horned Lark* c c c c
SWALLOWS Sp Su F W ___ Purple Martin o o - - ___ Tree Swallow* c c - - ___ Violet-green Swallow r - - - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow c u - - ___ Bank Swallow* c u r - ___ Cliff Swallow* c c o - ___ Barn Swallow* c c c -
JAYS AND CROWS Sp Su F W ___ Blue Jay u o o - ___ Pinyon Jay - - - x ___ Black-billed Magpie* o r o o ___ Common Crow* c o c o
CHICKADEE, NUTHATCHES, AND CREEPER Sp Su F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee c u c c ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch o r o o ___ White-breasted Nuthatch o - o - ___ Brown Creeper o r o r
WRENS Sp Su F W ___ Rock Wren r - - - ___ House Wren* c c c - ___ Sedge Wren* r r - - ___ Marsh Wren* c c c r
THRUSHES AND MIMIC THRUSHES Sp Su F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet - - o - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet o - - - ___ Eastern Bluebird u o - - ___ Mountain Bluebird o - o - ___ Townsend's Solitaire u - u r ___ Veery x - - - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush o - - - ___ Swainson's Thrush u r u - ___ Hermit Thrush r - r - ___ American Robin* c c c u ___ Gray Catbird* u r u - ___ Northern Mockingbird r - - - ___ Brown Thrasher* c c c r ___ Curved-billed Thrasher x - - -
PIPITS Sp Su F W ___ American Pipit (Water Pipit) u - u - ___ Sprague's Pipit r - r -
WAXWINGS Sp Su F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing r - - - ___ Cedar Waxwing u o u -
SHRIKES AND STARLING Sp Su F W ___ Northern Shrike u - u c ___ Loggerhead Shrike* c c c r ___ European Starling* u u u o
VIREOS Sp Su F W ___ Bell's Vireo* u u - - ___ Solitary Vireo - x - - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo x - - - ___ Warbling Vireo c u - - ___ Philadelphia Vireo - x - - ___ Red-eyed Vireo c o o -
WOOD WARBLERS Sp Su F W ___ Tennessee Warbler r - - - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler c - c - ___ Northern Parula r - - - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler r - - - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c - ___ Townsend's Warbler - - x - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler x - - - ___ Palm Warbler x - - - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u r - - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u o u - ___ American Redstart u r o - ___ Ovenbird r - r - ___ Northern Waterthrush o - - - ___ Common Yellowthroat* u c u - ___ Hooded Warbler x - - - ___ Wilson's Warbler c - c - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat u o o -
TANAGERS Sp Su F W ___ Scarlet Tanager r - - - ___ Western Tanager x - - -
GROSBEAKS AND SPARROWS Sp Su F W ___ Northern Cardinal ca - - - ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak o o - - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak u u - - ___ Blue Grosbeak u o - - ___ Lazuli Bunting o - - - ___ Indigo Bunting o - r - ___ Dickcissel o u o - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee c r c - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c c ___ Chipping Sparrow* c u c - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow c - c - ___ Field Sparrow u r u - ___ Vesper Sparrow c - c - ___ Lark Sparrow* u o - - ___ Lark Bunting* c c c - ___ Savannah Sparrow c o c - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* c c c - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow r - r - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - - x - ___ Fox Sparrow - - r - ___ Song Sparrow c - c o ___ Lincoln's Sparrow c - c - ___ Swamp Sparrow* c c c - ___ White-throated Sparrow u - u - ___ White-crowned Sparrow c - c - ___ Harris' Sparrow c - c - ___ Dark-eyed Junco c - c u ___ McCown's Longspur r - - - ___ Lapland Longspur u - u c ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur* u r u - ___ Snow Bunting - - o o
MEADOWLARKS, BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES Sp Su F W ___ Bobolink* u u o - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c c u ___ Eastern Meadowlark* c c c - ___ Western Meadowlark* c c c o ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* c c c r ___ Rusty Blackbird - - - r ___ Brewer's Blackbird o - o - ___ Common Grackle* c c c o ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* c c u - ___ Orchard Oriole* u c - - ___ Northern Oriole u u - -
FINCHES Sp Su F W ___ Rosy Finch - - r - ___ Common Redpoll - - - o ___ Pine Siskin o - o o ___ American Goldfinch* c c c u ___ Evening Grosbeak r - - r
WEAVER FINCHES Sp Su F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c u

List revised January, 1992 by Barry Jones.
For additional information contact:
                 Manager
                 Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge
                 HWC 5 Box 114
                 Martin, South Dakota 57551
                 Telephone: 605/685-6508
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1994.  Birds of Lacreek.  
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1994.  Birds of Lacreek.  
     U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govlacreek.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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