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Bird Checklists of the United States

Southwestern North Dakota


Birds of Southwestern North Dakota

This checklist applies to that portion of North Dakota bounded by the Missouri River, South Dakota and Montana. The region's topographic features, flora and fauna have more western similarities than other biotic regions in the state such as the Prairie Pothole Region. Most of the southwest has been only slightly affected by past glaciation. Diverse and scenic badlands along the Little Missouri River and its tributaries are the most distinctive feature in the area.

The vegetation is an ecotone between eastern mixed-grass prairie and typical short-grass prairie. Among the grassland communities are areas of sagebrush, western snowberry and other brushy habitats. Upland drainages, or woody draws, provide stringers of deciduous woodland dominated by green ash and American elm. River bottom forests along the Missouri and Little Missouri Rivers are dominated by cottonwood.


Abundance
The following terms apply to the abundance of individuals in suitable habitat:

a - abundant; occurs in large numbers and is easily observed because of its habits and conspicuousness
c - common; occurs in large numbers
f - fairly common; occurs in fair to moderate numbers
u - uncommon; occurs in low numbers
r - rare; occurs yearly somewhere in the region but in very low numbers
o - occasional; occurs at intervals of 3-5 years
x - accidental; not expected to occur again or occurs very infrequently
e - extirpated; no longer occurs in the region but did historically

*- Known to have nested in North Dakota; may or may not nest in the region

Status (St)
Populations of many species of birds are declining. Those with special conservation needs are identified as follows:

E - Federally listed as Endangered in North Dakota
T - Federally listed as Threatened in North Dakota
C - Federally listed as a Candidate species for listing as Threatened or Endangered somewhere in its range
S - A species of special concern in North Dakota
N - Neotropical migrant. Land birds that winter primarily in tropical America and are increasingly impacted by destruction of those winter habitats

Seasons

Spring: 15 March - 31 May
Summer: 1 June - 31 July
Fall: 1 August - 15 November
Winter: 15 November - 15 March


LOONS AND GREBES St Sp S F W ___ Common Loon* r - r - ___ Pacific Loon - - o - ___ Red-throated Loon - - o - ___ Pied-billed Grebe* u - u - ___ Horned Grebe* r r r - ___ Red-necked Grebe* r o r - ___ Eared Grebe* f u f - ___ Clark's Grebe r r r - ___ Western Grebe* u u u -
PELICANS AND CORMORANTS St Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican* S f f f - ___ Double-crested Cormorant* S f f f -
HERONS AND IBISES St Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u u u - ___ Least Bittern* o o o - ___ Great Blue Heron* f f f - ___ Great Egret x - o - ___ Little Blue Heron* x - o - ___ Tricolored Heron* x - o - ___ Cattle Egret* x - o - ___ Green Heron* x x x - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* u u u - ___ White-faced Ibis r - - -
WATERFOWL St Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan u - u - ___ Greater White-fronted Goose r - r - ___ Snow Goose* u - u - ___ Canada Goose* c u c r ___ Wood Duck* r r r - ___ Green-winged Teal* f u f - ___ American Black Duck* o - o - ___ Mallard* c c c r ___ Northern Pintail* c c c - ___ Blue-winged Teal* c c c - ___ Northern Shoveler* c c c - ___ Gadwall* c c c - ___ American Wigeon* f f f - ___ Canvasback* u u u - ___ Redhead* u u u - ___ Ring-necked Duck* u r u - ___ Greater Scaup o - o - ___ Lesser Scaup* c u c - ___ Common Goldeneye* r - r r ___ Bufflehead* u - u - ___ Hooded Merganser* r - r - ___ Common Merganser* r - r - ___ Red-breasted Merganser r r r - ___ Ruddy Duck* f f f -
VULTURES, HAWKS AND EAGLES St Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture* N u u u - ___ Osprey* S,N r - r - ___ Bald Eagle* E r o r r ___ Northern Harrier* f f f r ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk* N u r u o ___ Cooper's Hawk* N r r r o ___ Northern Goshawk* r - r r ___ Swainson's Hawk* C,N f f f - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* f f f r ___ Ferruginous Hawk* C u u u - ___ Rough-legged Hawk u - - u ___ Golden Eagle* f f f f ___ American Kestrel* N u f f r ___ Merlin* S,N r r r r ___ Peregrine Falcon* E,N o o o o ___ Gyrfalcon o - - o ___ Prairie Falcon* S u u u r
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS St Sp S F W ___ Gray Partridge* f f f f ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* u u u u ___ Ruffed Grouse* r r r r ___ Sage Grouse* u u u u ___ Greater Prairie-Chicken* e e e e ___ Sharp-tailed Grouse* c c c c ___ Wild Turkey* f f f f
RAILS AND CRANES St Sp S F W ___ Virginia Rail* r r r - ___ Sora* f f f - ___ American Coot* c c c - ___ Sandhill Crane* S f - a - ___ Whooping Crane* E o e o -
PLOVERS, SANDPIPERS AND ALLIES St Sp S F W ___ Black-bellied Plover r - r - ___ American Golden Plover r - r - ___ Semipalmated Plover u - u - ___ Piping Plover* T r r r - ___ Killdeer* c c c - ___ Mountain Plover* C e e e - ___ Black-necked Stilt o - o - ___ American Avocet* c c c - ___ Greater Yellowlegs u u u - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs f r f - ___ Solitary Sandpiper u r u - ___ Willet* f f u - ___ Spotted Sandpiper* u u u - ___ Upland Sandpiper* f f f - ___ Long-billed Curlew* C r r r - ___ Hudsonian Godwit r o r - ___ Marbled Godwit* f f u - ___ Ruddy Turnstone o - o - ___ Red Knot x - o - ___ Sanderling r r r - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper c u c - ___ Western Sandpiper o - r - ___ Least Sandpiper c u c - ___ White-rumped Sandpiper r r r - ___ Baird's Sandpiper u u f - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper u r f - ___ Dunlin u - u - ___ Stilt Sandpiper f u f - ___ Buff-breasted Sandpiper o - o - ___ Short-billed Dowitcher u r u - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher f u f - ___ Common Snipe* u r u - ___ Wilson's Phalarope* c c c - ___ Red-necked Phalarope u - u - ___ Red Phalarope o - o -
GULLS AND TERNS St Sp S F W ___ Franklin's Gull* u u u - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r r r - ___ Ring-billed Gull* c c c - ___ California Gull* u u u o ___ Herring Gull r - r - ___ Caspian Tern* o - o - ___ Common Tern* u u u - ___ Forster's Tern* f r f - ___ Least Tern* E r r r - ___ Black Tern* u u u -
DOVES AND CUCKOOS St Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove* c c c c ___ Mourning Dove* a c a r ___ Black-billed Cuckoo* N u u u - ___ Yellow-billed Cuckoo* N r r r -
OWLS St Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl* o o o - ___ Eastern Screech-Owl* r r r r ___ Great Horned Owl* f f f f ___ Snowy Owl o - - r ___ Burrowing Owl* S,N u u u - ___ Long-eared Owl* r r r r ___ Short-eared Owl* r r r - ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl o - o o
NIGHTJARS St Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* N u u u - ___ Common Poorwill* u u r -
SWIFTS, HUMMINGBIRDS AND KINGFISHERS St Sp S F W ___ Chimney Swift* N r r r - ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird* N r r r - ___ Belted Kingfisher* N f f f r
WOODPECKERS St Sp S F W ___ Red-headed Woodpecker* u u u - ___ Red-bellied Woodpecker* o - o - ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker* N u u u - ___ Downy Woodpecker* f f f f ___ Hairy Woodpecker* f f f f ___ Northern Flicker* c c c u
FLYCATCHERS St Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher N r - r - ___ Western Wood-Pewee* N u u u - ___ Eastern Wood-Pewee* N r r r - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher N r - r - ___ Alder Flycatcher* N r o r - ___ Willow Flycatcher* N u u u - ___ Least Flycatcher* N f f f - ___ Eastern Phoebe* N r r r - ___ Say's Phoebe* N u u u - ___ Great Crested Flycatcher* N r r r - ___ Western Kingbird* N c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird* N c c c -
LARKS AND SWALLOWS St Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* a a a u ___ Purple Martin* N u r u - ___ Tree Swallow* N r r r - ___ Violet-green Swallow* N o o o - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* N f f f - ___ Bank Swallow* N c c a - ___ Cliff Swallow* N c c c - ___ Barn Swallow* N c c c -
CROWS AND JAYS St Sp S F W ___ Blue Jay* u u u u ___ Clark's Nutcracker o - o o ___ Black-billed Magpie* f f f f ___ American Crow* f f f r ___ Common Raven* o e - o
CHICKADEES, NUTHATCHES AND CREEPERS St Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee* f f f f ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch* u o u r ___ White-breasted Nuthatch* f f f f ___ Brown Creeper f o f r
WRENS St Sp S F W ___ Rock Wren* u u u - ___ House Wren* N c c f - ___ Winter Wren o - o - ___ Sedge Wren* r r r - ___ Marsh Wren* f f f -
KINGLETS AND THRUSHES St Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - r o ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet N u - u - ___ Eastern Bluebird* u u u - ___ Mountain Bluebird* f f u - ___ Townsend's Solitaire r - r u ___ Veery* N u u u - ___ Gray-cheeked Thrush N u - u - ___ Swainson's Thrush N c - u - ___ Hermit Thrush N r - r - ___ American Robin* N c c c u
MIMICS St Sp S F W ___ Gray Catbird* N f f f - ___ Northern Mockingbird* o o o - ___ Sage Thrasher o o - - ___ Brown Thrasher* f f f -
PIPITS AND WAXWINGS St Sp S F W ___ American Pipit N r - u - ___ Sprague's Pipit* S,N r r r - ___ Bohemian Waxwing u - - f ___ Cedar Waxwing* N f f f f
SHRIKES AND STARLINGS St Sp S F W ___ Northern Shrike r - - u ___ Loggerhead Shrike* S u u u - ___ European Starling* f f f f
VIREOS St Sp S F W ___ Bell's Vireo* N r r r - ___ Solitary Vireo N r - r - ___ Yellow-throated Vireo* N o o o - ___ Warbling Vireo* N f f f - ___ Philadelphia Vireo N r - o - ___ Red-eyed Vireo* N f f f -
WOOD WARBLERS St Sp S F W ___ Golden-winged Warbler* N r r r - ___ Tennessee Warbler N f - u - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler N - u u - ___ Nashville Warbler N r - r - ___ Northern Parula N o o o - ___ Yellow Warbler* N c c c - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler N o - - - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler* N r - r - ___ Magnolia Warbler N r - r - ___ Cape May Warbler N o - x - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler N o - o - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler* c - c - ___ Townsend's Warbler N o - - - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler N r - o - ___ Blackburnian Warbler N r - o - ___ Palm Warbler N r - r - ___ Bay-breasted Warbler N o - o - ___ Blackpoll Warbler N u - u - ___ Black-and-white Warbler* N f f f - ___ American Redstart* N f f f - ___ Ovenbird* N f f f - ___ Northern Waterthrush* N r - r - ___ Connecticut Warbler N o - o - ___ Mourning Warbler* N o - o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* N c c c - ___ Wilson's Warbler N u - u - ___ Hooded Warbler N - - o - ___ Canada Warbler N r - r - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* N f f f -
TANAGERS, GROSBEAKS AND BUNTINGS St Sp S F W ___ Scarlet Tanager* N - r r - ___ Western Tanager N o o - - ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak* N r r r - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak* N f f f - ___ Lazuli Bunting* N c c c - ___ Indigo Bunting* N r r r -
SPARROWS AND ALLIES St Sp S F W ___ Dickcissel* N r r r - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* C c c o - ___ American Tree Sparrow f - f u ___ Chipping Sparrow* N c c c - ___ Clay-colored Sparrow* N c c c - ___ Brewer's Sparrow* N r r r - ___ Field Sparrow* u u u - ___ Vesper Sparrow* N c c c o ___ Lark Sparrow* f f f - ___ Lark Bunting* N c c c - ___ Savannah Sparrow* N u u u - ___ Baird's Sparrow* N u u u - ___ Grasshopper Sparrow* N c c c - ___ Le Conte's Sparrow* r r r - ___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow* r r u - ___ Fox Sparrow r - r - ___ Song Sparrow* u u u o ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u - ___ Swamp Sparrow* o - o - ___ White-throated Sparrow* u - u r ___ White-crowned Sparrow f - f r ___ Harris' Sparrow u - u o ___ Dark-eyed Junco c o c r ___ McCown's Longspur* S r r r - ___ Lapland Longspur r - r r ___ Smith's Longspur o - o - ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur* c c c - ___ Snow Bunting - - - r
BLACKBIRDS AND ORIOLES St Sp S F W ___ Bobolink* N u u u - ___ Red-winged Blackbird* N c c c r ___ Western Meadowlark* a a a r ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* N c c c - ___ Rusty Blackbird r - r r ___ Brewer's Blackbird* N u u u o ___ Common Grackle* c c c r ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* N c c u - ___ Orchard Oriole* N u u r - ___ Northern Oriole* N f f f -
FINCHES St Sp S F W ___ Rosy Finch - - - r ___ Pine Grosbeak - - - r ___ Purple Finch* r - r o ___ Red Crossbill* r r r o ___ Common Redpoll r - - r ___ Pine Siskin* u o u u ___ American Goldfinch* f f f u ___ Evening Grosbeak u - u u
WEAVER FINCHES St Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c c

Thanks go to local bird experts Dave and Carolyn Griffith and Bob Randall for constructive comments on this checklist. Suggestions improving the accuracy of this list should be sent to the address below.

Compiled by Terry Rich.

                      District Manager
                      Bureau of Land Management
                      Dickinson District Office
                      2933 3rd Avenue West
                      Dickinson, North Dakota 58601
This resource is based on the following source:
Rich, T.  1992.  Birds of Southwestern North Dakota.  Bureau of Land 
     Management.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
Rich, T.  1992.  Birds of Southwestern North Dakota.  Bureau of Land 
     Management.  Unpaginated.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie 
     Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govswnodak.htm  
     (Version 22MAY98).

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