North Dakota is a birder's paradise.

With lots of wide-open spaces, there are plenty of places to observe birds from tiny sparrows all the way to swans.

According to an article on Birds&Blooms, they used the latest data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to zero in on each state's most common bird.

I must say, I am a bit surprised by North Dakota's number one bird.

It's not like I don't see this species, (or hear, they have a very distinct call) I just don't see them near as much as other species, especially right here in Bismarck.

I would've thought it was Canada geese for sure.  Every day, on the way to or from work, I usually see several dozens of flocks of Canada geese.  Other common birds I hear or see around Bismarck, are American Robins, Western Meadowlarks, and Ringneck Pheasants.

However, according to the survey, the most common bird seen in North Dakota is the Red-Winged Blackbird.

Unsplash/Joseph Cori
Unsplash/Joseph Cori
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In fact, the Red-Winged Blackbird is the most common bird in the United States.  It's number one in a total of 11 states.  The American Robin is #1 in 8 states.  Tied for #3 is the European Starling and the Western Meadowlark.

I have a lot of Western Meadowlarks by my home south of Lincoln.  The Western Meadowlark used to be very common across most of North Dakota.

After all, it is the state bird, however, it's now very rare east of a line from Jamestown to Devils Lake.  They say farming practices in eastern North Dakota are the reason for the decline of Western Meadowlarks.

Minnesota's most common bird is also the Red-Winged Blackbird.

South Dakota and Montana are the Western Meadowlark.

Western Meadowlark adult male. Taken in Antelope Island SP, Utah.
photographybyJHWilliams
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In the article, North Dakota is rated as the best "birding" state in the nation, with more bird sightings per capita than any other state.

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Gallery Credit: Martha Sandoval