• Explore and Discover One of the Last Frontiers in the World ...

    Jewel Cave

    National Monument South Dakota

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  • Caution - Roadwork on Highway 16

    Construction projects both along highway 16 and the Jewel Cave parking lot are in progress. The Jewel Cave Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with tours scheduled throughout the day. No reservations for cave tours.

  • Highway 16 construction near Jewel Cave entrance

    Construction of Highway 16 through Jewel Cave National Monument is progressing on schedule. Motorists should use caution while traveling through the construction zone. Visitors to Jewel Cave should plan extra travel time and come early in the day. More »

  • The parking lot at Jewel Cave takes shape

    Jewel Cave's parking lot project is on schedule for completion this fall. The stairs and wheelchair ramp to the visitor center are under construction. Signage along a service road and staff assistance will help guide visitors to the visitor center. More »


The following is a list of birds seen at Jewel Cave National Monument. Not all of the birds listed below are commonly spotted at the Monument; even the rare birds are included. The list is arranged in the order found in most field guides.

Abbreviation code:

Frequency of birds found in the park:

a = abundant, occurs in large numbers

c = common, occurs regularly in moderate numbers

u = uncommon, occurs regularly in numbers in proper habitat

r = rare or accidental


R = permanent resident

S = summer resident

W = winter resident

M = migrant, spring and/or fall

Bird (Frequency/Residency)

Great Blue Heron (r/S)

Turkey Vulture (u/S)

Mallard (c/M)

Blue-winged Teal (u/M)

Red-headed Merganser (r/S)

Gadwall (r/M)

Bald Eagle (u/W)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (u/S)

Cooper’s Hawk (u/S)

Northern Goshawk (u/R)

Red-tailed Hawk (u/S)

Golden Eagle (u/R)

American Kestrel (u/S)

Wild Turkey (c/R)

Semipalmated plover (r/M)

Killdeer (u/S)

Greater Yellowlegs (r/M)

Solitary Sandpiper (r/M)

Spotted Sandpiper (u/S)

Wilson’s Phalarope (r/M)

Franklin’s Gull (r/M)

Rock Pigeon (c/R)

Mourning Dove (u/S)

Great Horned Owl (c/R)

Long-eared Owl (u/S)

Northern Saw-whet Owl (u/S)

Common Nighthawk (c/S)

Common Poorwill (u/S)

White-throated Swift (u/S)

Rufous Hummingbird (u/S)

Lewis’ Woodpecker (u/S)

Red-headed Woodpecker (u/S)

Downy Woodpecker (u/R)

Hairy Woodpecker (c/R)

Black-backed Woodpecker (u/R)

Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted and red-shafted) (u/S)

Western Wood Pewee (c/S)

Dusky Flycatcher (c/S)

Cordilleran Flycatcher (u/S)

Western Kingbird (u/S)

Eastern Kingbird (u/S)

Loggerhead Shrike (u/S)

Plumbeous Vireo (u/S)

Warbling Vireo (u/S)

Red-eyed Vireo (u/S)

Gray Jay (u/R)

Blue Jay (u/R)

Pinyon Jay (u/R)

Clark’s Nutcracker (u/R)

Black-billed Magpie (u/R)

American Crow (c/R)

Tree Swallow(u/S)

Violet-green Swallow (c/S)

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (u/S)

Cliff Swallow (c/S)

Barn Swallow (c/S)

Black-capped Chickadee (c/R)

Red-breasted nuthatch (a/R)

White-breasted nuthatch (c/R)

Brown Creeper (u/R)

Rock Wren (c/S)

Canyon Wren (u/R)

House Wren (u/S)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (u/S)

Eastern Bluebird (u/S)

Mountain Bluebird (u/S)

Townsend’s Solitaire (c/R)

Swainson’s Thrush (u/M)

American Robin (c/S)

Cedar Waxwing (u/M)

Tennessee Warbler (r/M)

Orange-crowned Warbler (u/M)

Yellow-rumped Warbler (a/S)

American Redstart (u/M)

Ovenbird (c/S)

MacGillivray’s Warbler (u/S)

Common Yellowthroat (u/S)

Yellow-breasted Chat (u/S)

Western Tanager (c/S)

Black-headed Grosbeak (u/S)

Lazuli Bunting (u/S)

Indigo Bunting (r/S)

Spotted Towhee (u/S)

Chipping Sparrow (a/S)

Clay-colored Sparrow (u/M)

Field Sparrow (u/S)

Vesper sparrow (u/S)

Lark Sparrow (u/S)

Lincoln’s Sparrow (u/M)

Dark-eyed Junco (c/R)

Red-winged Blackbird (u/R)

Western Meadowlark (u/S)

Brewer’s Blackbird (c/S)

Brown-headed Cowbird (c/S)

Northern Oriole (r/M)

Cassin’s Finch (u/S)

Red Crossbill (a/R)

Pine Siskin (c/R)

American Goldfinch (u/S)

Did You Know?

Cavers at camp site deep in Jewel Cave/NPS file photo

From the elevator entrance, it takes over 11 hours for explorers to reach unexplored sections at the end of Jewel Cave. Some survey trips require cavers to remain underground for up to 4 days.