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Bird Checklists of the United States

Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge

small state map showing location

Moffit, North Dakota


Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of 22,310 acres located in Burleigh and Kidder Counties in south-central North Dakota. It was established in 1932 and is administered as a unit within a chain of refuges located throughout the Central Flyway. Long Lake NWR contains mixed-grass prairie, ravines, cultivated fields, small tree and shrub plantings, and seasonal wetland basins, in addition to Long Lake. Beginning at U.S. Highway 83 near Moffit, the Refuge extends northeastward for 16 miles.

Long Lake is a natural lake of limited depth because of its location in a shallow alkaline basin. It is separated into three units by dikes, and at normal water level it covers about 16,000 acres. The refuge was established primarily for the control of botulism, which has a long and varied history at Long Lake. The principal source of water is from Long Lake Creek south of the Refuge, which has a relatively large watershed. Dikes and spillways permit the holding of a higher level in each water unit from west to east when there is a water shortage.

The best opportunities for bird observation are in spring, summer, and fall. Canada geese typically lead the northward flight of waterfowl, beginning in late March. Northern pintails, mallards, and a variety of diving duck species follow shortly thereafter. Sharp-tailed grouse occupy traditional dancing grounds across the Refuge uplands throughout April, barely preceding the peak "crowing" activity of male ring-necked pheasant. Impressive flocks of phalaropes, sandpipers, and plovers buzz mudflats during late spring amid the constant din of various waterbird species that are establishing colonies in isolated emergent marsh areas. Vocalizations of numerous prairie sparrows interrupt the early morning quiet in June.

The fascinating mating displays of western grebes can be observed across Long Lake beginning in early June, just prior to the sight of numerous squadrons of ducklings scattered along shorelines and areas of emergent vegetation. Mornings in July reveal a patchwork of molting waterfowl across Long Lake's open water areas. Not long after the mass of fall migrating shorebirds have filled-up on protein-rich invertebrates and headed to more southerly locations, Long Lake is invaded with a variety of south-bound waterfowl.

Large congregations of ducks and geese are accompanied by thousands of sandhill cranes in search of waste grain and other agricultural staples. Occasionally, endangered whooping cranes visit the Refuge during their fall flight to Texas. In late fall, once Long Lake has frozen solid and fields are snow-filled, resident birds search for food and winter cover along with winter migrants including rough-legged hawks, snow buntings, and an occasional snowy owl.

The following checklist includes 289 birds. Species that are known to nest on the Refuge are noted with a bullet(•). Most of the species listed have been seen on the Refuge. Those species known to occur in the vicinity that have not actually been sighted on the Refuge are noted in italics. Visitors are encouraged to report new or noteworthy observations to Refuge staff. Additionally, confirmed sightings of some rare and accidental species may not have occurred on the Refuge itself, but rather on private land in close proximity to the Refuge. All species names are in accordance with the American Ornithologists, Union, 1998, Checklist of North American Birds. 7th ed. Am. Ornithol. Union, Washington, D.C. For clarity, some of the former names of bird species are shown in parentheses.

Bird species listed as "Accidentals" have been sighted once or only a few times and the Refuge is outside of their normal range.


Since many birds are migratory, their seasonal abundance are noted as follows:

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

c - common; certain to be seen in suitable habitat
u - uncommon; present, but not certain to be seen
r - rare; seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
(i) - irregular; indicated a species which is irregular during at least one season
cc - denotes a species that nests on the Refuge
º - denotes a species that likely nested on the Refuge historically, but dos not presently nest on the Refuge
E - threatened and endangered species in the United States


LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon r - - -
GREBES Sp S F W ___ •Pied-billed Grebe c c c - ___ •Horned Grebe u u u - ___ Red-necked Grebe r r - - ___ •Eared Grebe c c c - ___ •Western Grebe c c c - ___ •Clark's Grebe u u u
PELICANS Sp S F W ___ ºAmerican White Pelican c c c -
CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ •Double-crested Cormorant c c c -
BITTERNS, HERONS and EGRETS Sp S F W ___ •American Bittern c c c - ___ Least Bittern r - - - ___ Great Blue Heron c u c - ___ Great Egret - r - - ___ •Snowy Egret r u r - ___ Little Blue Heron r r r - ___ •Cattle Egret c c c - ___ Green Heron r r r - ___ •Black-crowned Night-Heron c c c - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron r r r -
IBISES and SPOONBILLS Sp S F W ___ •White-faced Ibis u u u u
NEW WORLD VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture u u u u
SWANS, GEESE and DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Greater White-fronted Goose c - c - ___ Snow Goose c r c - ___ Ross' Goose u - u - ___ •Canada Goose c c c u ___ ºTrumpeter Swan - - r - ___ Tundra Swan u - c - ___ •Wood Duck u u u - ___ •Gadwall c c c - ___ •American Wigeon c u c - ___ American Black Duck r - r - ___ •Mallard c c c u ___ •Blue-winged Teal c c c - ___ •Cinnamon Teal r r r - ___ •Northern Shoveler c c c - ___ •Northern Pintail c c c - ___ •Green-winged Teal c u c - ___ •Canvasback c c c - ___ •Redhead c c c - ___ •Ring-necked Duck c r c - ___ Greater Scaup r - r - ___ •Lesser Scaup c u c - ___ White-winged Scoter - - r - ___ Bufflehead c u c - ___ Common Goldeneye c - u r ___ •Hooded Merganser u r u - ___ Common Merganser c - u r ___ Red-breasted Merganser r - r - ___ •Ruddy Duck c o c -
OSPREY, KITES, HAWKS and EAGLES Sp S F W ___ Osprey r - r - ___E Bald Eagle c - c r ___ •Northern Harrier c c c r ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk u r u - ___ •Cooper's Hawk u u u - ___ Northern Goshawk r - r r ___ Broad-winged Hawk r - r - ___ •Swainson's Hawk u u u - ___ •Red-tailed Hawk c c c r ___ •Ferruginous Hawk u u u - ___ Rough-legged Hawk u - u u ___ Golden Eagle u r u u
FALCONS and CARACARAS Sp S F W ___ •American Kestrel c u c r ___ Merlin u - u r ___ GyrFalcon - - - r ___ Peregrine Falcon r - r - ___ Prairie Falcon u r u r
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ •Gray Partridge c c c c ___ •Ring-necked Pheasant c c c c ___ •Sharp-tailed Grouse c c c c ___ ºGreater Prairie Chicken r r r r ___ Wild Turkey u u u u
RAILS Sp S F W ___ •Yellow Rail r r r - ___ •Virginia Rail u u u - ___ •Sora c c c - ___ •American Coot c c c -
CRANES Sp S F W ___ ºSandhill Crane c - c - ___EºWhooping Crane r - r -
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r - r - ___ American Golden Plover r - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover u - u - ___E•Piping Plover u u u - ___ •Killdeer c c c -
STILTS and AVOCETS Sp S F W ___ •American Avocet c c c -
SANDPIPERS and PHALAROPES Sp S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs u u u - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs c u c - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u u u - ___ •Willet c c c - ___ •Spotted Sandpiper c c c - ___ •Upland Sandpiper c c c - ___ Whimbrel r - - - ___ ºLong-billed Curlew r - - - ___ Hudsonian Godwit r - - - ___ •Marbled Godwit c c c - ___ Ruddy Turnstone u u - - ___ Red Knot r r r - ___ Sanderling u u u - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper c u c - ___ Western Sandpiper r r r - ___ Least Sandpiper c c c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper c u r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper c u u - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u - u - ___ Dunlin u - u - ___ Stilt Sandpiper u u u - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u u u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher c c c - ___ •Common Snipe u u u - ___ •Wilson's Phalarope c c c - ___ Red-necked Phalarope u - u -
SKUAS, JAEGERS, GULLS and TERNS Sp S F W ___ •Franklin's Gull c c c - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r r r - ___ •Ring-billed Gull c c c - ___ California Gull u r u - ___ Herring Gull c r u - ___ Caspian Tern r - r - ___ •Common Tern c u c - ___ •Forster's Tern c c c - ___ Least Tern r - - - ___ •Black Tern c c c -
PIGEON and DOVES Sp S F W ___ •Rock Dove u u u u ___ •Mourning Dove c c c r
CUCKOOS and ANIS Sp S F W ___ •Black-billed Cuckoo (i) u u u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo r - - -
TYPICAL OWLS Sp S F W ___ Eastern Screech Owl r r r r ___ •Great Horned Owl c c c c ___ Snowy Owl u - r u ___ ºBurrowing Owl r r - - ___ Long-eared Owl r r r - ___ •Short-eared Owl c c c r ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl - - - r
NIGHTJARS Sp S F W ___ •Common Nighthawk u u u -
SWIFTS Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift r r r -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird r r r -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u r u -
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ •Red-headed Woodpecker r r r - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker u u u - ___ •Downy Woodpecker u u u u ___ •Hairy Woodpecker u u u u ___ •Northern Flicker c u c u
TYRANT FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher r r r - ___ Eastern Wood Pewee r - - - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher r - r - ___ Alder Flycatcher r - r - ___ •Willow Flycatcher u u u - ___ •Least Flycatcher r r r - ___ •Eastern Phoebe r r r - ___ •Say's Phoebe u u u - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher r r - - ___ •Western Kingbird c c c - ___ •Eastern Kingbird c c c -
SHRIKE Sp S F W ___ •Loggerhead Shrike u u u - ___ Northern Shrike u - u u
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Yellow-throated Vireo r r r - ___ Blue-headed Vireo r - r - ___ •Warbling Vireo r r r - ___ Philadelphia Vireo r r r - ___ Red-eyed Vireo u u u -
CROWS, JAYS and MAGPIES Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay u u u u ___ •Black-billed Magpie u u u u ___ •Common Crow c u c u
LARKS Sp S F W ___ •Horned Lark (i) c c c c
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ •Purple Martin u c u - ___ •Tree Swallow c c c - ___ •Northern Rough-winged Swallow u u u u ___ •Bank Swallow c c c - ___ •Cliff Swallow c c c - ___ •Barn Swallow c c c -
TITMICE and CHICKADEES Sp S F W ___ •Black-capped Chickadee u u u u
NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch u - u u ___ •White-breasted Nuthatch u - u u
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper r - r r
WRENS Sp S F W ___ •House Wren c c c c ___ Winter Wren - - r - ___ •Sedge Wren c c c - ___ •Marsh Wren c c c -
KINGLETS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - r r ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet r - r r
THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Eastern Bluebird r r r - ___ Mountain Bluebird u - u - ___ Townsend's Solitaire r r r - ___ Veery r - r - ___ Gray-checked Thrush r - r - ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush r - r - ___ •American Robin c u c -
MIMIC THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ •Gray Catbird u u u - ___ Northern Mockingbird - r - - ___ •Brown Thrasher c c c -
STARLING Sp S F W ___ •European Starling u u u u
WAGTAILS and PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit u - u - ___ •Sprague's Pipit u u u -
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Bohemian Waxwing (i) - - - u ___ •Cedar Waxwing r r r r
WOOD WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler u r u - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler u - u - ___ Nashville Warbler r - r - ___ •Yellow Warbler c c u - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler r - r - ___ Magnolia Warbler r - r - ___ Cape May Warbler r r r - ___ Yellow-Rumped Warbler c u r - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler r - r - ___ Blackburnian Warbler r - r - ___ Palm Warbler u - u - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler r - r - ___ Blackpoll Warbler u r u - ___ Black-and-white Warbler u - u - ___ American Redstart u r u - ___ Ovenbird u u u - ___ Northern Waterthrush r r r - ___ Connecticut Warbler r r - - ___ Mourning Warbler r r r - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler r - - - ___ •Common Yellowthroat c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u r u - ___ Canada Warbler r r r - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat r r r -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Scarlet Tanager r - r -
SPARROWS and TOWHEES Sp S F W ___ Spotted Towhee r - r - ___ American Tree Sparrow c - c r ___ •Chipping Sparrow u u u - ___ •Clay-colored Sparrow c c c - ___ Field Sparrow u r u - ___ •Vesper Sparrow u u u - ___ •Lark Sparrow r r r - ___ •Lark Bunting (i) r c r - ___ •Savannah Sparrow c c c - ___ •Grasshopper Sparrow c c c - ___ •Baird's Sparrow u u u - ___ •Henslow's Sparrow r r r - ___ •Le Conte's Sparrow u u u - ___ •Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow u u u - ___ Fox Sparrow r - r - ___ •Song Sparrow c c c - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u r u - ___ Swamp Sparrow u r u - ___ White-throated Sparrow u - u - ___ Harris' Sparrow u - u - ___ White-crowned Sparrow u - u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco u - u u ___ McCown's Longspur r r r - ___ Lapland Longspur c - c u ___ Smith's Longspur r - r - ___ •Chestnut-collared Longspur c c u - ___ Snow Bunting u - u c
CARDINAL, GROSBEAKS and ALLIES Sp S F W ___ •Rose-breasted Grosbeak r - - r ___ Black-headed Grosbeak r r r - ___ Lazuli Bunting r r r - ___ Indigo Bunting r r r - ___ •Dickcissel (i) u u u -
BLACKBIRDS and ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ •Bobolink c c c - ___ •Red-winged Blackbird c c c r ___ •Western Meadowlark c c c - ___ •Yellow-headed Blackbird c c u - ___ Rusty Blackbird r - r r ___ •Brewer's Blackbird u u u - ___ •Common Grackle c c c r ___ •Brown-headed Cowbird c c c - ___ Orchard Oriole u u r - ___ Baltimore Oriole c c c -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak (i) r - r r ___ Purple Finch u - u u ___ House Finch r r r u ___ Red Crossbill (i) r r r r ___ White-winged Crossbill (i) r - r r ___ Common Redpoll (i) u - - u ___ Hoary Redpoll (i) - - - r ___ Pine Siskin (i) r - r r ___ •American Goldfinch (i) c c c u ___ Evening Grosbeak - - - r
OLD WORLD SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ •House Sparrow c c c c
ACCIDENTALS ___ ºTricolored Heron (unsuccessful nest attempt in 1978) ___ White Ibis ___ Garganey ___ Surf Scoter ___ Black Scoter ___ Long-tailed Duck (formerly Oldsquaw) ___ Barrow's Goldeneye ___ Red-shouldered Hawk ___ Black-necked Stilt ___ Red Phalarope ___ Long-tailed Jaeger ___ Arctic Tern ___ European Collared-Dove ___ Lewis's Woodpecker ___ Violet-green Swallow ___ Prairie Warbler ___ Prothonotary Warbler ___ Northern Cardinal
FIELD NOTES
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For additional information contact:
                 Refuge Manager
                 Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge
                 12000 353rd Street SE
                 Moffit, North Dakota 58560-9740
                 Telephone: 701/387-4397
                 Fax: 701/387-4767
                 Email: longlake@fws.gov
                 http://longlake.fws.gov
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  May 2002.  Long Lake National Wildlife 
     Refuge Bird List.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  May 2002.  Long Lake National Wildlife 
     Refuge Bird List.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated. 
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govlonglake.htm 
     (Version 30DEC2002).

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