A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

The southeast is the last region to see our migrating birds as they fly south for the winter, and the first to see them return in the spring. But its rivers, lakes and wetlands make it a good region year-round for birdwatching. Look for screech owls, Baltimore orioles and warblers at the Outdoor Campus, a complex of trails, native prairie fields and a small natural history museum built along an oxbow of the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls. Bald eagles spend the winter in old cottonwoods along the Missouri River bottoms near Yankton and you can get great views of them from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Lewis & Clark Visitor Center. See a colony of cormorants near Lake Madison, scarlet tanagers in the dense forest of Newton Hills near Canton and bobolinks at the Hogrefe GPA east of Parkston. Check the Southeast South Dakota Tourism website for a brochure that includes a trail with 33 stops and a checklist to keep track of your bird sightings.

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