South Dakota State Bird

Which Bird is the State Bird of the State of South Dakota?

The state bird of South Dakota is the ring-necked pheasant. There are only a total of three state birds in the US that are not native to the US and the ring-necked pheasant is one of them. The ring-necked pheasant is also simply known as the common pheasant in other parts of the world. The state of South Dakota selected the ring-necked pheasant as its state bird back in 1943. The ring-necked pheasant is actually native to Asia and it was introduced to the United States during the 1880s.

What Should You Know about the Ring-Necked Pheasant's Appearance?

As with many birds, there are significant differences between how the male ring-necked pheasant looks and how the female ring-necked pheasant looks. The male ring-necked pheasant has plumage that is gold and copper, in addition to being iridescent. The face of the male ring-necked pheasant is red and it has a collar-like marking on its neck that is a bright white color.

The female ring-necked pheasant is much less colorful than the male pheasant. Their coloring is muted but it does help them blend in if they are in a field. Female ring-necked pheasants are brown and their sides have black spotting. Additionally, their tails have thin, black bars too.

Do Ring-Necked Pheasants Fly on a Regular Basis?

It makes sense to expect most birds to fly on a regular basis. However, this is not the case when it comes to the ring-necked pheasants. In fact, ring-necked pheasants seem to prefer running or walking around rather than traveling by flight.

Ring-necked pheasants will fly if you disturb them, though. Additionally, ring-necked pheasants will fly away if a predator is pursuing them. In general, though, ring-necked pheasants fly less frequently when you compare them with other birds.

Ring-Necked Pheasants Are a Common Game Bird

Another notable fact about the ring-necked pheasant is that it is quite a common game bird. The ring-necked pheasant has been a common game bird for quite some time. In fact, the ring-necked pheasant is one of the most hunted birds in the entire world. Many people have introduced the ring-necked pheasant to various regions of the world for this very reason.

People have also commercially bred the ring-necked pheasant on game farms in order to hunt it. Ring-necked pheasants that are on game farms are semi-domesticated. In total, roughly 30 subspecies of the ring-necked pheasant exist in the world.

South Dakota state bird
Ring-necked pheasant
Scientific Name
Phasianus colchicus
Year Became Official