The State Bird of South Dakota is the Ring-Necked Pheasant
South Dakota is home to a wide variety of bird species, including the state bird, the Ring-Necked Pheasant. This iconic gamebird has been closely associated with South Dakota for centuries and continues to be an important part of its identity today.
A Brief History
The Ring-Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was first introduced to North America in 1881 by Edward Crile from California. From there, it quickly spread across the continent and became one of the most widely distributed birds in North America. By 1901, it had reached South Dakota and soon become firmly established as part of its wildlife population. In 1943, after much debate over other possible candidates such as Sharp-Tailed Grouse or Mountain Bluebirds, the state officially adopted this magnificent gamebird as their official state bird.
As a symbol of pride to many South Dakotans who hunt them recreationally on private land open seasons every year; they are highly sought after by hunters looking for some great shooting opportunities during fall migration each year when these birds come south following their annual nesting cycle up north in Canada’s boreal forest region where they breed regularly in large numbers before winter sets in again further southward into our states here below them down into ours like right here too inside our own beautiful prairie lands all around us that we share with them too!
On average males measure about 35 cm (14 inches) long while females tend to be slightly smaller at 31 cm (12 inches). Male pheasants have iridescent copper-brown feathers with striking white neck rings and black stripes along their bodies. Females lack this colorful plumage instead being more cryptically colored brown throughout with small patches of white on wings and tail feathers used for camouflage purposes when moving through dense vegetation cover which is typical habitat preferred by both sexes alike but especially so often times during springtime nesting season whenever it arrives upon us then here each year around us again same time same place just like clockwork practically!
Habitat & Diet
Ring-necked pheasants make use of grassland habitats such as prairies, meadows or pastures interspersed between agricultural fields which provide abundant food sources needed for their survival including insects (grasshoppers), grains/seeds (millet), fruits & berries although their diet also consists other items found within nature itself wherever they find themselves living out there occupying any particular area plus whatever else might turn up early enough so that they can take advantage & feed off from whatever’s available at hand nearby!
< h 2 >Conclusion h 2 > The Ring – Necked Pheasant remains an important part of South Dakota’s culture and heritage even today despite having only been recognized as its official state bird since 1943 . Its popularity still runs strong amongst many people who enjoy hunting , appreciating its beauty , or simply just having fun watching these majestic birds move gracefully through open spaces .