South Dakota Birding Festival

South Dakota Birding Festival

Locations around Pickstown, Lake Andes and
Wagner, SD
(605) 487-7603

The South Dakota Birding Festival @ Fort Randall has all the makings of a weekend event that holds something for everyone interested in birds found in or passing through the great lakes region of South Dakota. The area boasts at least 322 species of birds of which 164 are breeding species. Experts also tell us that in May there will still be many migratory birds in the area.


Grab your binoculars and make plans to attend the 

6th Annual

May 20-22, 2016

With birding you never know what you might find. The highlight of a previous festival was a Western grebe paired with a Clark’s grebe. Clark’s grebes are rare enough, but to see one paired with a Western grebe was very special. A Least bittern was seen and photographed when it “froze” mere feet from the edge of the walking path. Many more were heard out in the marsh. Adult Bald eagles and their eaglets were photographed and observed at their nest. Other birds observed included: Green heron, Hooded merganser, Stilt sandpiper, Whip-poor-wil, Eastern screech owl, Red-bellied woodpecker, Great-crested flycatcher, Bell’s vireo, Palm warbler, American redstart, Ovenbird, Rose-breasted grosbeak and Bobolink.

Registration is in Pickstown, SD.
Field trips into Karl Mundt National Wildlife Refuge.
A note of interest: This is the only time that the Karl Mundt National Wildlife Refuge
located by the Fort Randall Dam is open to the public.

Activities include:

  • Bird banding
  • Bird identification
  • Birding experts & speakers
  • Guided field trips
  • Children's activities



What to wear:

Wear comfortable, waterproof/resistant boots or shoes.

Also, it is recommended that birders dress in layers, as the

weather can vary from cold (mornings) to much warmer (midday.) 



To print the following documents,
you will need to first download them.

(First, click on the image to open a full size document,
then select the box with arrow from the menu and select download)

2016 Schedule of Events - South Dakota Birding Festival



2016 Registration Form - South Dakota Birding Festival



2011-2015 Bird Checklist - South Dakota Birding Festival


South Dakota Birding Festival - Map




2015 Birder's Business Directory - South Dakota Birding Festival


For more information about the South Dakota Birding Festival, call 605-487-7603


A Gray Catbird banded by Dr. Dave Swanson during a bird banding demonstration at the 2013 South Dakota Birding Festival at Fort Randall has been recaptured by Dr. Swanson. It was captured in July of 2014 at Clay County Park near Vermillion, SD – a distance of about 75 miles.
This is the first time that a bird banded during the Festival’s banding demonstration has been recaptured.