South Dakota Birds and Birding - Home Page


South Dakota Birding"Hotspot"

Pierre Oahe Dam Area

Location#4 -- "Billy Goat Jump"

Just a little area tucked in near the western corner of Oahe Dam, but I love this spot!!  This spot always seems to hold birds, and it's SO nice in the dead of winter to visit a location like this, and see a lot of activity.  The area can be reached by taking Highway 1806 from the Dam itself.  Only a mile or so up from the corner of the dam, you reach the peak of a hill and start to head down, and see the entrance to the area as a little gravel road on the right.

At first, the road follows the top of the ridge line (point 1 below).  This area has a lot of grassland with scattered yuccas, and can be great for grassland species.  Given the high ridge, it's also a good spot to look for soaring raptors. 

As the road descends, you start to pass more and more patches of brush, and then finally trees.  Brushy spots, such as Point 2 and other locations, can be good in all seasons.  However, it's the cedars and pine trees down towards the bottom that are typically the most interesting (point 3).  Point 3 has some thick pines near the parking/turnaround loop, surrounded by cedar.  The pines have often held nesting (and wintering) Long-eared Owls, while a search of the surrounding cedars may turn up a Northern Sawwhet Owl.  The berries on the cedar trees almost always attract Townsend's Solitaires in the winter, and other rarities for the area also can sometimes be found (Pine Grosbeak, Bohemian Waxwing).  

Billy Goat Jump - South Dakota Birding Hotspot


 Use the following Google dialogue to search this South Dakota Birds and Birding site:
Custom Search



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