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South Dakota Birding"Hotspot"

Newton Hills State Park

Photo Location#2 -- Grassland and Sumac

Adjacent to Sergeant Creek and the Horse camp area is a large open grassy space, ringed with thick sumac stands and forested slopes as you move to the hilly part of the park.  Eastern Kingbirds, Dickcissels, and other birds of open spaces can sometimes be found here, although the area is getting increasingly shrubby over the years and open grassland species have become less common.  Around the edges near Sergeant Creek, Whip-poor-wills are often heard, while American Woodcocks are seen and heard in numbers in the early spring.  As you move down the trail away from the Horse Camp area, the grassy areas are also sometimes interspersed with scattered eastern red cedar and shrubs.  This is the one area in South Dakota where Blue-winged Warblers can reliably be found as breeding birds. The wooded area that follows the creek is wonderful for many species.  It's the one area I've had the best luck finding Black-billed Cuckoos, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos are here as well.

Newton Hills State Park - South Dakota Birding "Hotspot" 


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