South Dakota State Bird: Ring-necked Pheasant – Fun Facts & More!

Ever wondered why the Ring-necked Pheasant, an Asian native, is the state bird of South Dakota?

Its vibrant colors and unique call, thriving in the state’s open grasslands, have captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

Keep an eye out for this graceful avian resident during your South Dakota explorations!

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South Dakota State Bird

South Dakota is a state rich in history and culture. From its towering mountains to its rolling plains, South Dakota is home to a diverse array of wildlife, people, and traditions. 

One of the most beloved symbols of the state is the Ring-Neck Pheasant, which serves as the official state bird.

Why is the Ringnecked Pheasant the state bird in South Dakota?

The Ring-Neck Pheasant, also known as the Chinese Pheasant, was introduced to South Dakota in the late 1800s. 

The state quickly became a hub for pheasant hunting, and the bird became an important part of South Dakota’s economy and culture. 

In 1943, the South Dakota State Legislature designated the Ring-Neck Pheasant as the official state bird.

How do these birds behave?

Ring-Neck Pheasants are known for their striking plumage and raucous cackles. They are omnivores and eat a diet of seeds, insects, and small animals. Pheasants are typically solitary birds, but they may form small communities during the winter months to protect themselves from predators.

Do Ringneck Pheasants form communities?

During the winter months, Ring-Neck Pheasants may form small communities to protect themselves from predators. 

These communities are made up of a dominant male and several females. 

The male will fiercely defend his territory, and the females will assist with feeding and raising their young.

State Dessert: Kuchen

Kuchen is a traditional German pastry that is popular in South Dakota. The pastry is made with a sweet dough and filled with fruit, custard, or cheese. 

It is often served with coffee and is a staple of many family gatherings and social events.

State Soil: Houdek Soil

Houdek soil is the official state soil of South Dakota. This soil is rich in nutrients and is ideal for growing crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. 

The soil is named after Anton Houdek, a prominent South Dakota soil scientist.

What do Ringneck Pheasants eat?

Ring-Neck Pheasants are omnivores and eat a diet of seeds, insects, and small animals. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever food is available in their habitat.

Tell me the state bird of South Dakota?

The state bird of South Dakota is the Ring-Neck Pheasant.

State Tree: Black Hills Spruce

The Black Hills Spruce is the official state tree of South Dakota. This tree is native to the Black Hills region of the state and is known for its hardiness and beauty.

State Fish: Walleye

The Walleye is the official state fish of South Dakota. This fish is prized by anglers for its delicious flavor and fighting spirit.

State Musical Instrument: Fiddle

The fiddle is the official state musical instrument of South Dakota. 

This instrument has a long history in the state and is often associated with traditional folk music.

State Grass: Western Wheatgrass

Western Wheatgrass is the official state grass of South Dakota. This grass is a hardy, drought-resistant plant that is commonly found throughout the state. 

It is an important part of South Dakota’s ecosystem and is often used for erosion control and forage.

State Gemstone: Fairburn Agate

The Fairburn Agate is the official state gemstone of South Dakota. These beautiful stones are known for their unique patterns and colors and are highly prized by collectors and jewelry makers.

State Flower: American Pasque

The American Pasque is the official state flower of South Dakota. This beautiful flower blooms in early spring and is a symbol of the state’s resilience and strength.

State Fossil: Triceratops

The Triceratops is the official state fossil of South Dakota. This dinosaur roamed the state millions of years ago and is an important part of South Dakota’s geological history.

State animal: Coyote

The Coyote is the official state animal of South Dakota. These clever and adaptable animals are an important part of the state’s ecosystem and are found throughout the state.

State Fossil: Triceratops

The Triceratops is the state fossil of two U.S. states: South Dakota and Wyoming.

In South Dakota, the Triceratops was designated as the state fossil in 1988. 

The state has a rich history of dinosaur fossils and the Triceratops is one of the most well-known and frequently found dinosaurs in the area. 

The first Triceratops fossils were discovered in South Dakota in the late 1800s.

In Wyoming, the Triceratops was designated as the state fossil in 1994. 

Wyoming is known for its vast fossil beds, including the famous Hell Creek Formation, where numerous Triceratops fossils have been found. 

The Triceratops is a particularly important species in Wyoming, as it was one of the last dinosaurs to exist before the mass extinction event that ended the age of the dinosaurs.

South Dakota State Bird – Ringnecked Pheasant

Yes, the Ring-necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota.

The Ring-necked Pheasant was designated as the state bird of South Dakota in 1943. It is a popular game bird in the state and is also commonly seen in rural areas. 

The pheasant’s distinctive appearance and behavior make it a favorite of hunters and birdwatchers alike.

Male Ring-necked Pheasants have bright, iridescent feathers and a distinctive ring of white feathers around their necks, while females are more muted in coloration. 

The birds are known for their loud, crowing calls and their tendency to run rather than fly when startled.

South Dakota is known for its strong hunting tradition, and the Ring-necked Pheasant is an important part of that tradition. 

The state even hosts an annual “Pheasant Fest” to celebrate the bird and promote conservation efforts to protect its habitat.

FAQs About South Dakota State Bird

What is South Dakota state bird?

The official state bird of South Dakota is the Ring-Neck Pheasant. 

This bird is a beloved symbol of the state and can be found throughout the state’s grasslands and farmlands.

What is the state bird and flower of South Dakota?

The state bird of South Dakota is the Ring-Neck Pheasant, and the state flower is the American Pasque. 

Both of these symbols are important parts of the state’s identity and are cherished by its residents.

What is South Dakota known for?

South Dakota is known for its natural beauty, including Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and the Black Hills. 

The state is also famous for its agricultural heritage, with farming and ranching playing a significant role in the state’s economy.

What is South Dakota state symbol?

South Dakota has many official state symbols, including the Ring-Neck Pheasant (state bird), the American Pasque (state flower), the Black Hills Spruce (state tree), and the Western Wheatgrass (state grass).

Is Dakota a US state?

Dakota is not a US state. It is a historical region that encompasses both North Dakota and South Dakota. 

The two states were originally one territory until they were granted statehood in 1889.

Why is South Dakota special?

South Dakota is special for many reasons, including its natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. 

The state is home to iconic landmarks like Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, as well as vibrant Native American communities and a thriving arts and culture scene.

What is the Indian population of South Dakota?

According to the US Census Bureau, the Indian population of South Dakota is around 9.3% of the total population. 

The state has a rich Native American heritage and is home to several tribal nations.

What is the Indian town in South Dakota?

South Dakota is home to many Indian towns and reservations, including Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Rosebud Indian Reservation, Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, and Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

What are 5 facts about South Dakota?

  1. South Dakota is the 17th largest state in the US.
  2. The state’s highest point is Harney Peak, which rises to 7,242 feet above sea level.
  3. The state has the second-lowest population density in the US, with just over 880,000 residents.
  4. South Dakota is home to the world’s only Corn Palace, a building decorated with thousands of ears of corn.
  5. The state is also known for its production of honey, sunflowers, and bison.

Final Thoughts About South Dakota State Bird

The Ring-Neck Pheasant is a beloved symbol of South Dakota’s resilience and community spirit. 

It is just one of many symbols that represent the state’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. 

From the state tree to the state animal, each symbol tells a story about South Dakota’s past and present, and serves as a reminder of the state’s unique character and spirit. 

Whether you’re a lifelong resident or a visitor passing through, these symbols are sure to inspire a sense of wonder and pride in all who encounter them.

Where Does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Come From?

Ring-Neck Pheasant origin

The ring-neck pheasant is a bird that is native to China and East Asia. It was first introduced into North America in the 1880s and has since become one of the most popular game birds in the United States.

How Did the Ring-Neck Pheasant Become South Dakota’s State Bird? 

Ring-Neck Pheasant

The ring-neck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) was designated as the state bird of South Dakota on February 13, 1943. It is a very popular bird in the state and many people fell for the beauty of this bird.

What Does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Look Like?

Ring-Neck Pheasant state bird

The ring-neck pheasant is a plump bird with a long tail. The male has a glossy blue-green head, a red face, and a whitish collar that goes all the way around its neck (hence the name “ring-neck”). The rest of its body is chestnut-brown with black bars. The female is much less flashy, with a brown head and body and only a hint of the collar. Both sexes have long, pointed tails.

Ring-neck pheasant is a fairly large bird, measuring about 2.5 feet from beak to tail and weighing up to 3 pounds.

How does the Ring-Neck Pheasant Behave? 

Ring-Neck Pheasant behavior

The Ring-Neck Pheasant is a very social bird and can often be seen in small groups or coveys. They are also very vocal birds, with the males making a distinctive ‘crowing’ sound during mating season. The Ring-Neck Pheasant is an omnivorous bird and its diet consists of a variety of seeds, insects, and other small animals.

It is a ground-dwelling bird and prefers to nest in areas of dense vegetation. The female will lay a clutch of 4-12 eggs, which will hatch after 23-28 days. The young birds can fly at around 6 weeks old.

What Does Ring-Neck Pheasant Eat?

Ring-Neck Pheasant eating

The ring-neck pheasant is an omnivorous bird, meaning that it will eat both plants and animals. Some of the plants that the ring-neck pheasant consumes include berries, seeds, leaves, and roots. The animal portion of the ring-neck pheasant’s diet consists of insects, small mammals, and reptiles.

In the wild, ring-neck pheasants typically eat whatever food is most readily available. However, when these birds are kept as pets or raised for hunting purposes, their diet must be carefully planned and monitored to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need.

What Does a Ring-Neck Pheasant Song Sound Like?

The male ring-neck pheasant has a loud, distinctive call that is often described as “crowing.” This sound is used to attract mates and to warn other males of his territory. The female ring-neck pheasant does not have such a loud call, but she does make a softer “cooing” sound. Pheasants also make a variety of other sounds including chuckles, coos, whines, and yelps.

What Is the Lifespan of a Ring-necked Pheasant?

Ring-Neck Pheasant life

The typical lifespan of a ring-necked pheasant in the wild is about two to three years. However, captive birds often live much longer, with some individuals known to reach more than 15 years of age. The oldest recorded ring-necked pheasant was a hen that lived to be 19 years and 4 months old.

The main predators of ring-necked pheasants are hawks, owls, and other birds of prey. However, these birds are also hunted by humans for their meat and feathers. As a result, the ring-necked pheasant is considered to be a game species in many parts of North America.

Final Thoughts

The ring-neck pheasant is a beautiful bird that is very popular in South Dakota. It is a great bird for hunting and also makes a great pet. If you are thinking about getting a ring-neck pheasant, be sure to do your research to make sure that you are providing the best care possible.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.