Bird Watching

Outdoor Recreation near Yankton, SD

The Missouri River, which runs right along the border of Yankton, is one of the best ecosystems to support migratory birds.

The river provides sandbars and miles-long reservoirs with quiet bays that attract Common Goldeneye, Canvasback, Canada and Cackling geese, and Franklin’s Gull.

Gavins Point Dam, just a few miles west of Yankton, is a favorite spot for Sabine’s Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake and Arctic Tern. The Missouri’s riparian and cottonwood habitats attract dozens of songbird species, including Bell’s Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Make sure to keep a lookout for the American Bald Eagle during the winter season, the threatened Piping Plover, and the endangered Least Tern.

In the spring you may even encounter American White Pelican’s at the base of Gavins Point Dam or on Lake Yankton as they pass through the area on their annual spring migration. 

There has been relatively little change in the diversity of the bird community from the historic past, which makes this area a hot spot for watching a variety of species. Visit these online resources to learn more!

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