(Beason, Robert C. 1995. http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds. cornell.edu/bna/species/195.)
When I lived in South Dakota, I figured the Horned Lark was perhaps our most common bird species. It breeds commonly in the prairies, is an abundant migrant, and even survives the Dakota winters. But much of northeast Minnesota's forests are inhospitable to larks. The honor of Most Common Bird Species in Minnesota, and in the United States as a whole, may go to the Red-winged Blackbird. All the blackbirds need is a marshy wet area or weedy field (both of which can be scarce in western South Dakota). Highway construction with roadside "borrow" pits has probably benefited Red-winged Blackbirds.