Did you see a PINK bird in South Dakota?
I’m guessing you need help figuring out which species you saw with pink feathers. Well, you’ve come to the right place! To help you make an identification, I have included several photographs of each bird and detailed range maps.
5 Pink BIRDS IN South Dakota:
#1. House Finch
- Haemorhous mexicanus
- Males are pinkish around their heads and upper breasts. They have brown streaks on their back, tail, and belly.
- Females are brown with streaks on their back, tail, and belly.
- Both sexes have notched tails and conical beaks designed to eat seeds.
It’s common to see these pink birds in South Dakota near people.
Look for them around buildings, backyards, parks, and other urban and suburban areas. As you can see, only males have pinkish-red coloring.
House Finch Range Map
House Finches are often the first birds to discover new bird feeders. These birds are intensely curious and rarely travel alone, so their arrival often helps other birds find your feeders, too! I see them eating sunflower, Nyjer, and safflower seeds in my yard.
House Finches have an enjoyable song, which can be heard year-round. Listen below to a series of jumbled, warbled notes.
#2. Purple Finch
- Haemorhous purpureus
- Small, with a conical seed-eating bill.
- Males have a raspberry red or pink head, breast, and back.
- Females have prominent streaks of white and brown below, with strong facial markings, including a whitish eyebrow and a dark line down the side of the throat.
Male Purple Finches are described as looking like they were dipped in raspberry juice.
Look for these beautiful pink birds visiting feeders in South Dakota, especially during winter. Your best chance to attract them is using black-oil sunflower seeds. Having conifer trees in your yard is also a great way to encourage them to visit.
Purple Finch Range Map
Purple Finches can be challenging to identify because they look incredibly similar to the more common House Finch. I’ve made this mistake many times, believing that I saw a Purple Finch when it was, in fact, just another House Finch. To tell them apart, look at their back. The Purple Finch’s back has pink or red coloring, while the back of a House Finch has none.
Males sing a rich, musical warble. Listen below!
#3. Mourning Dove
- Zenaida macroura
- A mostly grayish dove with large black spots on the wings and a long, thin tail.
- Look for pinkish legs, a black bill, and a distinctive blue eye ring.
- Males and females look the same.
This species is one of the most common birds in South Dakota.
But at first glance, it’s hard to see any pink coloring on them. But look closer, and you will notice that Mourning Doves have PINK legs! 🙂
Mourning Dove Range Map
Mourning Doves are common visitors to bird feeding stations. They need a flat place to feed, so the best feeders for them are trays or platforms. They are most comfortable feeding on the ground, so throw a bunch of food there, too.
It’s common to hear these pink-legged birds in South Dakota.
Listen for a low “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo.” In fact, this mournful sound is how the dove got its name! Many people commonly mistake this sound for an owl. (Press PLAY below!)
#4. White-winged Crossbill
- Loxia leucoptera
- Look for the crisscrossed bill, which is used to separate pinecone scales to access the seeds.
- Males are rose-pink with black wings and tails. Look for two white lines of contrasting color across the middle of the wing.
- Females and young males are yellowish but with the same wing and tail pattern as the adult males.
White-winged Crossbills get their name from the shape of their bill! These unique beaks are perfect for cracking open pinecones to access the seeds inside.
Crossbills LOVE eating conifer seeds and can consume up to 3,000 each day. In fact, some people can locate these pink birds in South Dakota by hearing them crunching while opening cones in the trees.
White-winged Crossbill Range Map
White-winged Crossbills are opportunistic breeders. As long as adequate food is available, females will breed at ANY time of the year.
Both sexes sing a mixture of vigorous and scattered chirps, warbles, and rattles. Listen below!
#5. Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch
- Leucosticte tephrocotis
- Males are a rich brown. Look for pink plumage on the body, a gray head, and a black forecrown, throat, and bill.
- Females are similar but with fewer amounts of pink, and their bill is yellow.
These pink birds are found at high elevations in South Dakota!
Look for them high on mountains or cliffs where they forage among loose stones, glaciers, meadows, and even avalanche areas. They even nest on the slopes of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America.
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch Range Map
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches may visit backyard bird feeders in the winter when they come down from the mountains. They like to eat black oil sunflower seeds scattered on the ground or in platform feeders.
Listen below to this Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches chattering cheep cheep song.
Learn more about other birds in South Dakota!
Which of these pink birds have you seen in South Dakota?
Let us know in the comments!