Brian Gevik Birds segment

22 hours ago

In The Moment ... April 7, 2020 Show 790 Hour 2

We're at the beginning of the migratory season in South Dakota. Not for humans, of course. We're mostly staying home these days. But we are getting outside. Breathing the spring air. Listening to the birds express their urge to sing. Here's SDPB's Brian Gevik:

Bird Watching Is For All Ages

Aug 7, 2019
Nate Wek

In The Moment ... August 7, 2019 Show 632 Hour 1

SDPB Sports and Recreation reporter Nate Wek joins Lori Walsh for another conversation on bird watching which, as Wek has discovered, is a great outdoor activity for all ages.

Humans aren’t the only species in South Dakota being affected by the unpleasant spring season. According to Dr. David Swanson, an ornithologist professor at the University of South Dakota, area birds are likely altering their plans this spring too, as it pertains to migration and breeding.


In The Moment ... April 10, 2019 Show 553 Hour 1

SDPB's Nate Wek discusses spring projections for migrant birds and how flooding and a random snow storm could affect them. 

Wek visits with Dr. David Swanson, Professor of Biology and Ornithology at the University of South Dakota.

  Sports and Recreation programming is sponsored by Delta Hotels by Marriott Minneapolis Northeast. Learn more at

Great Kiskadee Loses Fight With SD Winter

Jan 8, 2016
K.C. Jensen / SDSU

A tropical bird living outside Brookings has lost his struggle to survive an eastern South Dakota winter.
The appearance of a Great Kiskadee in 2015 captured the attention of bird watchers around the region.  Many were rooting for the underdog to make it through the cold and snowy season.

Lost Tropical Bird Eats Cat Food To Survive SD Winter

Dec 21, 2015
K.C. Jensen / SDSU

A tropical bird that doesn’t often make it farther north than Texas is toughing out the winter in South Dakota.   

The Great Kiskadee normally calls Mexico home, but birdwatchers confirmed one living in South Dakota this fall, and they’ve even photographed it in the snow.  The bird is finding some creative solutions to survive a South Dakota winter.

Finding a Great Kiskadee in South Dakota is a little bit like having a penguin pop up on a beach in Jamaica.

South Dakota Missouri River Tourism

According to a recent survey sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service, birding ranks as the 15th most popular outdoor recreational activity in the country. And the interest in birding is expected to grow over the next 50 years. Spring is perhaps the most exciting time for birders as they welcome the return of their feathered friends after a long winter.

Avian flu is spreading across the country, and it’s shown up at six South Dakota turkey operations. Those farms are in counties including Beadle, Kingsbury, McCook, McPherson, Roberts and Spink. The virus moves rapidly when birds catch the H5N2 strain.

Avian flu viruses commonly exist in wild bird populations, and the latest version is spreading onto farms. It hits quickly. John Clifford is the Chief Veterinary Officer for the USDA.

David Swanson

For bird watchers across the country, the holidays mean the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count. The 115th count wrapped up yesterday. Volunteers at a couple dozen locations around South Dakota were among those counting birds over the past couple weeks.

David Swanson is a professor of biology at the University of South Dakota where he teaches ornithology. He’s also a contributing author of Birds of South Dakota and secretary of the South Dakota Ornithologists Union. He joined Dakota Midday and discussed the state's winter birds.

Christmas Bird Count At Wind Cave

Dec 12, 2014
Courtesy Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park is hosting its twentieth Christmas Bird Count this Sunday. Although cold snowy weather canceled the event once in the past, the outlook for this year looks good.

It may feel like spring time today and tomorrow, but temperatures are expected to drop more than 20 degrees by Sunday morning. Notwithstanding, Wind Cave National Park biologist Dan Roddy says the annual Christmas Bird Count tends to be a “go” no matter what.

Terry Sohl

What birds will people see at their feeders sixty years from now? According to a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey, they could be different from the ones we see today. Climate and land use changes could have an impact on the ranges of bird species with some birds losing a significant amount of their current  range and others nearly doubling their range.

Karl Gehrke SDPB

A few weeks ago I was at Lake Poinsett in northeast South Dakota’s Glacial Lakes and Prairies region watching four white pelicans silently swimming about thirty feet from shore. It was a cloudy morning with a light wind blowing from the south. Every minute or so, one the large birds would plunge its long bill under the water, pull its heads back up and swallow a fish. As I watched them, several questions popped into my head. How do they find the fish? What kind of fish do they eat? Where do they breed? Where do they go during the winter?

Cliff Swallow Research

Feb 7, 2014

Dr. Charles Brown, Professor of Biology at the University of Tulsa, is researching on the behavioral and disease of ecology of birds. His long-term project (27 years) is among the longest running, continuous field studies on birds in North America. His focus on cliff swallows identifies the causes of group living and to understand why breeding colonies vary in size. Dr. Brown talked about what he's discovered so far.

"Rivers, Wings and Sky"

Jan 23, 2014
University of South Dakota

"Rivers, Wings and Sky," an exhibition by poet Norma Wilson and artist Nancy Losacker, is on display through the spring semester at the I.D.

South Dakota's Winter Birds

Jan 2, 2013
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The varied landscapes of South Dakota make the state an ideal place for bird watchers.  Douglas Chapman, editor of the South Dakota Ornithologists Union, talked about the winter bird count and how to find and attract birds to yards and feeders.