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South Dakota Birding"Hotspot"

Pierre Oahe Dam Area

Location#2 -- Farm Island Recreation Area

The second area I typically visit when making the trek to the Pierre area is Farm Island Recreation Area, found just a few miles east of Pierre off of Highway 34.  It's a great area to spend the better part of a day, if you have time, given the diversity of habitats and the great walking trails on the Island itself.

Upon entering the park, the north side of the river has the "developed" area, with campsites, picnic areas, etc. (Point 1 below).  This is still a good area to check out, especially since the birders in the Pierre area often keep a feeder complex active in this part of the park.    However, it's the walking trails that are the best feature of the park for me, with the main trailhead found at the end of the road into the park (point 2).  There's a blind in a wetland area here, and numerous open grassy areas, but it's the cedars and other trees that make the trails fun.  Care to have some winter fun?  Spend a day scouring the trees here for Northern Saw-whet Owls, as they are often found here in winter.  With all the standing dead timber and other trees, it's also a great area for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other species.

Farm Island Recreation Area - South Dakota Birding Hotspot 


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