A flock of Barrow?s Goldeneye regularly winters just below Foster Dam, sometimes with Common Goldeneye. Deep water above the dam draws migrant Common Loon and Horned, Eared, Western, Clark?s and (rarely) Red-necked Grebes in migration, along with Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Common Merganser, and other diving ducks. Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, and migrant terns may drop in as rarities. In spring you may hear Yellow-breasted Chat calling from brushy, logged slopes above the reservoir. The US Forest Service ranger station in Sweet Home is an information site for both the Willamette Valley and the Cascades Birding Trails.
From US Hwy 20 at the E end of Sweet Home, take 60th Ave/Foster Dam Rd N to North River Dr. An informal lake overview is on the R shoulder. The lake can be circled using Foster Dam Rd, North River Dr, Quartzville Rd, and US Hwy 20. Viewing sites are at the boat ramps, roadsides, and a county park (closed in winter).