De Smet Forest is haven for bird watchers

Monday, January 16, 2017

Can you guess what one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities in the United States is? It’s not hiking, visiting natural areas or gathering berries. It’s bird watching! According to a Birding Trends Survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service, bird watching ranks 15th and is almost as popular as swimming and bicycling!

There are many different species of birds to view in the De Smet area. In the nearby De Smet Forest, (a 178 acre woodland) Sedge Wrens, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Cooper’s Hawks can often times be seen. There are also warblers, sparrows, and a variety of songbirds. Sightings vary greatly through the year with annual migrations.

At nearby Lake Thompson, a different group of birds can be observed. Because of the location of De Smet, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl such as Ross’ Geese and Snow Geese can routinely be seen. Rarer birds such as Ruddy Turnstone, Godwits and Wilson’s Phalarope have also been spotted. There’s a little something for everyone!

Best bird viewing is April through September.  For more information, contact SD Game, Fish and Parks at 605-362-2700 or 605-353-7145.

De Smet also offers amazing hunting and fishing opportunities. For information about lodging and outdoor recreation in De Smet and Kingsbury County, click on this link: http://www.desmetsd.com/desmet/visitors . Come enjoy what De Smet has to offer!

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