Birding Hot Spots


Birding Hot Spots
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Fort Reno

LOCATION: Fort Reno, El Reno, OK
Contributed by Jimmy Woodard and Max Fuller

35.334490 N 98.2393W

General Info:  Historic Fort Reno was a military post from 1875 through 1947. The U.S. Department of Agriculture took it over in 1947 and now administers the roughly 7,000 acres as an agricultural research station. There was a prisoner of war camp constructed at the Fort in 1943. German and Italian POWs are buried in the cemetery on the west end of the facility. The Fort’s visitor center and main gate are open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and holidays / weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Directions: Take the Business I-40 exit off I-40 on the west side of El Reno. Go north about 1/2 mile, turn left then right into the Fort. From Highway 81 and Old Highway 66 / Bus 40 in El Reno, go west on Old Hwy 66 about 4 miles, turn right and immediately right into the Fort.

hotspot-reno-owlBirding Locations: Only the main road, main compound, cemetery road and cemetery are open to the public. Please do not cross fences or enter locked gates without permission.

Spring: Look for Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Green Heron, Canada Goose, Wood Duck Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, and Gadwall at the pond on the main road or in flight. Watch for migrants such as Swainson’s Hawk, American Golden-Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned and Yellow Warbler; Chipping, Clay-colored and Vesper Sparrows, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Summer: Local breeders include Red-tailed Hawk, Mississippi Kite, American Kestrel, Northern Bobwhite, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo; Barn, Barred and Great Horned Owls; Red-headed, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers; Eastern Phoebe; Great-crested and Scissortail Flycatchers; Western and Eastern Kingbird; Cliff and Barn Swallows, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee; Carolina, Bewick’s and House Wren; Glue-gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling; Bell’s, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireo; Northern Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak; Indigo and Painted Bunting; Dickcissel; Cassin’s, Field and Lark Sparrows; Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern Meadowlark, Great-tailed Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole, House Finch, and House Sparrow.

Winter: Look for Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk and Merlin in the fields. Short-eared Owls frequent the fields along the entrance road. In the trees of the main compound and cemetery, look for Northern Flickers, Tufted Titmouse, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, White-throated, White-crowned, Harris’s, and Song Sparrows. Also watch for Dark-eyed Junco, Loggerhead Shrike, Lapland Longspur, Brewer’s Blackbird, and American Goldfinch.

The unofficial bird list for Fort Reno, updated as of 6-24-2006, stands at 170 species.

The list details sightings by Jimmy Woodard, Max Fuller and Nealand Hill unless indicated by ■ (unconfirmed sightings on list provided by Fort Reno) or ▲ (observed by Dr. Donald Winslow, director of conservation biology, St. Gregory’s University, and students).


Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose■
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Pintail■
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback ■
Redhead ■
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup ■
Bufflehead ■
Hooded Merganser ■
Red-breasted Merganser
Ring-necked Pheasant ■
Wild Turkey
Northern Bobwhite
Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron■
White-faced Ibis ■
Roseate Spoonbill ■
Turkey Vulture
Mississippi Kite
Northern Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk■
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Prairie Falcon
Sora ■
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
American Golden-Plover
Semipalmated Plover ■
Killdeer
American Avocet ■
Greater Yellowlegs■
Lesser Yellowlegs■
Solitary Sandpiper■
Spotted Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper■
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper■
Stilt Sandpiper■
Wilson’s Snipe
Wilson’s Phalarope■
Franklin’s Gull■
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo ▲
Greater Roadrunner
Barn Owl
Great Horned Owl
Snowy Owl ■
Barred Owl
Short-eared Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher ■
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker■
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker■
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
Bell’s Vireo ▲
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Black-capped Chickadee■
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Eastern Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire■
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush ▲
Common Yellowthroat ▲
Summer Tanager■
Spotted Towhee
Cassin’s Sparrow ▲
American Tree Sparrow■
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Lapland Longspur
Smith’s Longspur■
Northern Cardinal
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Dickcissel
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole ▲
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak
House Sparrow
▲ = observed by
Dr. Donald Winslow, director of conservation biology, St.
Gregory’s University

■ =
uncomfirmed sightings on list provided by Fort Reno


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