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South Dakota Birding"Hotspot"

Big Sioux Recreation Area

Photo Location#4 -- Campground Area

Don't bother with the campground area in the summer, especially on the weekends.   The mass of humanity and activity would be discouraging to you, as it probably is to the bird life.  From October through mid-May, however, it USED to be a place you had to bird when you were there.  Large locust trees, cottonwoods, junipers, and pines were all once found here, as well as a great deal of shrubbery.  It used to be a very "birdy" area, even in winter at times, especially in and around the bushes and juniper trees with berries.  This is the area where Long-eared Owls had been found roosting in the fall and early winter.

Note the use of past tense in much of the description above.  The photo below is drastically different than the view around the campground area now.  South Dakota GFP went in and cleared out all the trees along the road, all the shrubs.  Now when you look down this road, you can see from end to end, with no "pesky" trees or shrubs in the way.  I was VERY sad to see them rip out what had been such great vegetation.  From a camping standpoint, I don't know why anybody would WANT to camp here now.  It's a big open area where you have no separation from the people next to you.  All for the sake of the giant massive RVs that people have now.  People were complaining that they couldn't easily back in their giant RVs. Hence, all the vegetation had to go.

People over nature...that definitely seems to be how many parks are managed.

Big Sioux Recreation Area - South Dakota Birding "Hotspot" 


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Please mail any comments/suggestions/additional links for this page to: Terry L. Sohl