Bird watching tips from Game and Fish

Published: May. 2, 2020 at 8:48 PM CDT
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You know it's spring when you finally hear the birds chirping. If you're interested in getting out and learning more about them, Mike Anderson shares some basic bird watching tips to get you started on this week's North Dakota Outdoors.

Bird watching is a popular outdoor activity in North Dakota at this time of year. And if you're just getting started, there are some simple things you will need.

Sandra: "If you've never been birding in North Dakota before, the first thing I do is get a good bird book or download an app for your phone that has the different types of birds. They're different sounds. You can also go online. There's all kinds of great resources out there online for learning about birds. You can check out the North Dakota Game Fish website. We've got a checklist of North Dakota birds that lists the more than three hundred and seventy five birds that you might be able to find in the state," said NDGF Conservation Biologist, Sandra Johnson.

Johnson says another important piece of equipment is a good pair of binoculars. North Dakota has a diversity of habitat with a variety of birds, and here are some places to visit when you venture out for the first time.

Sandra: "We've got a lot of national wildlife refuges in the state, wildlife management areas, waterfowl production areas, state parks. There's all kinds of great wetlands and grasslands, places that you can view from the road and look for birds," said Johnson.

North Dakota's official Bird Day is April 26 each year, however, if you missed it, there's still plenty of time to enjoy the sites and sounds of spring.

"Look for all the migrating waterfowl now, they're all in their breeding plumage so everything is really pretty. There's other great birds like marbled godwits and black-crowned night-herons, Western meadowlarks, other grassland birds. Once you get out and get birding and exploring some of these areas and open your eyes and your ears and you start hearing all these different birds and you start getting curious what these different species are and learning about them," said Johnson.

With the uncertain times with the Covid 19 virus, getting outdoors is a great way to social distance.

Sandra: "Birding is a great stress relief with everything going on in the world right now to just get outside, get some fresh air, start looking at birds. Birds are really healing and just learning about their different types, their sounds, it just really takes your mind off of everything that's going on in the world right now," said Johnson.

Visit for more information on bird species.