December 2021

As 2021 ends, each county’s tally of the number of bird species seen is finalized and ranked from the county with the most species seen to the county with the least species seen.  How did the central Oklahoma counties rank?   

On November 27th Caleb McKinney added LeConte’s Sparrow near Alex in Grady County.  On December 1st Megan Migues found Redhead at a pond near Stroud in Lincoln County; Cody Delano recognized Merlin at Lake Stanley Draper – Draper Trail; Zach DuFran tallied Brown Creeper in Norman; Bill Diffin detected Bonaparte’s Gull, and Common Loon at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point; Jimmy Woodward came across Wild Turkey, Red-breasted Nuthatch in Midwest City; and Scott Loss heard Lapland Longspur flyover his yard in Stillwater.  On the 2nd Robert Merideth verified White-breasted Nuthatch at Joe B. Barnes Park in Midwest City; and Bill Diffin spotted Greater Yellowlegs, Field Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow at Crystal Lake in OKC. 

On the 3rd Jason Shaw counted Barred Owl and Hairy Woodpecker at USAO Habitat in Grady County; Brian McLaughlin had American Pipit at Bluff Creek Trails; Steve Davis photographed Gray Catbird and Forster’s Tern at Lake Hefner; Blayne Housh got Wood Duck at Myriad Botanical Gardens in OKC; and Scott Loss viewed Pine Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatch at Lake Carl Blackwell.  On the 4th Deanne McKinney saw Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and White-winged Scoter at Lake Overholser; Joe Grzybowski observed Lesser Black-backed Gull and Ross’s Goose at Lake Thunderbird – Twin Bridges; Nancy Reed recorded Pine Siskin and Fox Sparrow in Norman; Leah Speno located Pine Siskin in Central State Park in Edmond; and Sneha Dharwadkar identified Orange-crowned Warbler at Sanborn Lake in Stillwater.   

On the 5th Kenny Nichols noticed Red-tailed Hawk along I-40 near Seminole; Bryan Box reported Cackling Goose at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; Deanne McKinney photographed Horned and Eared Grebe at Lake Overholser west side; Jimmy Woodard turned up Winter Wren in OKC; and Mike Yough encountered Least Sandpiper at Cushing WTP.  On the 6th Bill Diffin had Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Hefner; Branden Farris detected Yellow-bellied Sapsucker near Lake Hefner; and Brian Marra discovered Orange-crowned Warbler at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  On the 7th D&D Norris confirmed Golden-crowned Kinglet at Kairworks Garden in Logan County; and Nancy Reed had Spotted Towhee in Norman.  On the 8th Jack Olson tallied Belted Kingfisher and Northern Harrier near Calumet in Canadian County; Cody Delano spotted Iceland Gull at Lake Hefner; and Brian Marra found American Tree Sparrow and Swamp Sparrow at Bluff Creek Trails.  

On the 9th Joe Grzybowski recognized Ferruginous Hawk along Ladd Road in McClain County; Megan Migues came across Canvasback near Stroud; and Brian Marra verified Winter Wren, Hairy and Pileated Woodpecker at Stinchcomb WR West.  On the 11th Zach DuFran added Pileated Woodpecker and Cedar Waxwings at Newcastle in McClain County; Joe Grzybowski observed Prairie Falcon at Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County; Abdul Dominguez counted Eastern Bluebird in Norman; Brian Marra identified Marsh Wren, and flyover Lapland and Smith’s Longspur.  On the 12th Jennifer Vibderwekk got Bald Eagle along I-40 near Paden in Seminole County.  On the 14th Cory Gregory recorded Northern Harrier near Hennessey in Kingfisher County; and Deanne McKinney saw Eastern Screech Owl in her OKC yard.  On the 15th Joe Grzybowski viewed Eastern Screech-Owl at Lake Thunderbird – Marina; and Bill Diffin described Iceland Gull at Lake Hefner – Lighthouse area.  On the 16th Larry Mays located Bewick’s Wren in Newcastle. 

On the 17th Grace Huffman documented Northern Shrike at Crystal Lake; and Mike Yough confirmed Smith’s Longspur along East Airport Road in Stillwater.  On the 18th Jack Olson noticed Northern Flicker in Kingfisher County; Amanda Tichacek reported Bald Eagle near El Reno in Canadian County; Bill Diffin discovered White-winged Scoter at Lake Hefner – Dam; Scott Loss photographed Black Scoter and Winter Wren at Laker Carl Blackwell; and Caitlin Laughlin encountered Greater Roadrunner in Stillwater.  On the 19th Megan Migues photographed Purple Finch and Rusty Blackbird near Stroud in Lincoln County; Grace Huffman turned up Wilson’s Snipe at Lake Overholser – Route 66 Park; and Brent Barnes photographed a light brown Eastern Screech-Owl in Warr Acres.  On the 20th Laurie Harper Abney spotted and photographed a Snowy Owl along OK-77 in McClain County and in Garfield County east of Enid Steve Metz also photographed a Snowy Owl.

On the 21st Cody Delano photographed a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk on Hwy 77 south of Purcell in McClain County; Steve Davis added Red-headed Woodpecker and Loggerhead Shrike at Wayne in McClain County; and Simon Walker detected Northern Harrier near Coyle in Logan County.  On the 22nd Mike Yough documented Tundra Swan at Lone Chimney Lake in Payne County.  On the 23rd Simon Walker found American Kestrel at Paul’s Valley in Garvin County; Hal Yocum came across Eastern Towhee at Mitch Park in Edmond; and Aaron Mechem recognized Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers in Warr Acres.  On the 24th Aaron Short spotted Barred Owl near Washington in McClain County and Orange-crowned Warbler near Mulhall in Logan County; and Mike Yough tallied Northern Bobwhite in NW Payne County.    

On the 25th Trina Arnold counted Prairie Falcon in Midwest City; Bruce Mast identified Vesper Sparrow at Crystal Lake; and  Dick Gunn heard Western Meadowlarks along South Jenkins. On the 26th Tracy McCarthey located Brewer’s Blackbird and Horned Lark along Richland Road near Tuttle in Grady County; D&D Norris verified Pine Warbler and Red-breasted Nuthatch at Kairworks Garden; Megan Migues stepped into her grandfather’s barn in Lincoln County and saw two Barn Owls; and Braden Farris heard Sedge Wren at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County.  On the 27th Tracy McCarthey observed Common Merganser at Lake Overholser west side; Rosario Douglas viewed Hermit Thrush at George M Sutton Wilderness Park in Norman; and Dustin Lynch recorded Ring-billed Gull at Wewoka Lake in Seminole County. On the 29th Joe Grzybowski documented Rock Wren at Lake Thunderbird Dam.  On the 30th Jason Shaw saw Sharp-shinned Hawk in Chickasha and Tracy McCarthey discovered Ferruginous Hawk at Tuttle in Grady County. 

At the end of the year the number of bird species seen in each of the 77 Oklahoma county shows Seminole ranked as 75th with 89 species; Garvin as 74thwith 93 species; Pottawatomie as 61st with 118 species; Kingfisher as 51st with 135 species; Grady as 37th with 148 species; McClain as 36th with 154 species; Logan as 34th with 157 species; Lincoln as 30th with 165 species; and then the big jump; Canadian as 9th with 230 species; Cleveland as 4th with 251 species; Payne as 3rd with 263 species and Oklahoma as first with 275 species. 

What new birding adventures and new areas can you explore next year?  eBird encourages daily bird reports from your yard and other locations you visit during your daily activities.  The results will surprise you.

In the Central Oklahoma area during December 139 species were reported with 1 new species which brings the year’s total at 311. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2021 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: (Accessed December 27th, 28th & 31, 2021); and occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at

Esther M. Key, Editor. 

                                                                Dec        Nov        Oct         Sept       Sum       May       April       Mar        Feb        Jan                           

Seminole                             089         088         088         088         088         083         080         073         053         035

Garvin                                   093         093         091         091         091         085         079         066         062         054

Pottawatomie                   118         118         118         116         115         104         099         085         078         060

Kingfisher                            135         137         125         127         124         099         096         073         061         016

Grady                                    148         146         144         142         142         136         102         079         068         059

                Logan                                    157         156         152         152         151         144         111         098         089         067        

McClain                                154         151         151         151         150         144         121         093         080         068

Lincoln                                  165         160         157         156         154         148         117         101         067         059

Canadian                             230         230         227         225         220         219         189         147         127         116

                Cleveland                            252 1      249         247         246         245         242         204         151         128         119

                Payne                                   263         262         261         258         254         252         214         159         138         124

                Oklahoma                           275         273         272         265         264         262         220         173         149         138

Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.