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Now is a Great Time to Try Birding in South Dakota





 

Now is a Great Time to Try Birding in South Dakota

 

PIERRE, S.D. – With the recommendation to social distance, many people are looking for activities they can do on their own. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) invites you to try birding.

“Starting or renewing your interest in birds and birding is a perfect way to substitute a fun and healthy hobby for your Netflix addiction,” said Eileen Dowd Stukel, Wildlife Diversity Coordinator. “A birding buddy or group is great, but it’s a perfect time to take a quiet solo walk to find new birds or simply station yourself near your bird feeders. It’s exciting to learn new species, but now is also a great time to watch adult birds care for young that have just left nests to face the world.”

To get started, buy or borrow a pair of binoculars and try to view and identify the birds you see or hear. GFP’s booklet “The Fledgling Birder” can help you learn the right clues to lead you to a bird’s ‘family’ (sparrow, thrush, woodpecker) as you hone your skills.

Don’t be frustrated if you can’t identify all the birds at first, reminds Dowd Stukel. “For millions of people, this is a lifelong activity that can be done nearly anywhere and anytime. Time spent outdoors has been proven to benefit our mental health, and South Dakota has lots to offer in the outdoors. Birding is a fun way to appreciate the beautiful, natural world around us.”

GFP has several resources to aid any level of birding expertise. In addition to "The Fledgling Birder," birders can get their hands on region-specific birding publications as well as the Backyard Birding book at state parks, regional GFP offices or request a copy by emailing wildinfo@state.sd.us. Information is also available online at gfp.sd.gov/breeding-bird-atlas.