Marsh and Water Birds
The marshes of Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge provide ideal feeding and nesting habitat for migratory marsh and water birds, such as herons, egrets, grebes, gulls and terns. Sand Lake was the site of the world’s largest nesting colony of Franklin’s gulls in 1994. The Sand Lake marsh has the distinction of having been the site of the first recorded nesting in the state of South Dakota for cattle egrets (1977), great egrets (1978) snowy egrets (1977), little blue heron (1979), and white-faced ibis (1978). Fall water levels normally provide excellent feeding conditions for large numbers of these species.