February 2021

Congratulations !!  This year all 12 counties took part in the Great Backyard Bird Count in spite of the record breaking storm that descended on us.  And now there are 22 species reported in all 12 counties.  Make a list of the bird species that you think were recorded and see how many you get correct. Also check out all the fun activities happening this spring.  What project can you do to help the birds while having fun?

On January 13th Rachel Overturff photographed Red Crossbill in Edmond; and on the 31st Curtis Stewart found Cedar Waxwings and Hairy Woodpecker at Bull Foot Park in Kingfisher County.  On February 1st Megan Migues located Belted Kingfisher near Stroud in Lincoln County; D&D Norris photographed Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Kairworks Garden in Logan County; John Tharp discovered Lesser Goldfinch in Norman; Joshua Huling reported Pyrrhuloxia and Mountain Bluebird at Crystal Lake; and Joe Grzybowski tallied six species of gulls at Lake Overholser including Lesser Black-backed, California and Iceland Gulls.  On the 2nd Jennifer Neugebauer added Red-tailed Hawk at Seminole State College.  On the 4th Calvin Rees recognized Loggerhead Shrike and Northern Harrier west of Cashion in Kingfisher County. 

On the 5th Calvin Rees photographed an Oregon Dark-eyed Junco at Lake Langston in Logan County; and Joe Grzybowski identified Wilson’s Snipe in Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County.  On the 6th Braden Farris spotted Smith’s Longspur around Fort Reno; and Mike Yough spotted Greater Yellowlegs at Ghost Hollow in Payne County.  On the 7th Randolph King turned up Golden-crowned Kinglet at Wes Watkins Lake in Pottawatomie County; Landon Neumann described Black Scoter at Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County; and Patti Muzny counted 35 to 45 Purple Finches at her feeder near Byars in McClain County.  On the 9th Sharon Henthorn observed Blue-winged Teal at the Northeast Zoo Lake Park. On the 11th in Kingfisher County Curtis Hart recorded Snow Goose at Bison and Sandhill Crane at Okeene; while Sean Washington had Winter Wren and Spotted Towhee at Martin Park Nature Center in Oklahoma City. 


Great Backyard Bird Count February 12 – 15, 2021

On the 12th Manning Wilson came across White-crowned Sparrow and Pine Siskin at Paul’s Valley in Garvin County; Martha Newman got Prairie Falcon at Meadow Sage Farm in Logan County; Braden Farris detected American Pipit at NW 63rd & Kilpatrick Turnpike in Canadian County; Rachel Wrenn and John Tharp recorded Common Goldeneye and Hooded Merganser at Lake Thunderbird—Alameda Drive Bridge in Cleveland County; and Leslie Miller photographed Purple Finch in Payne County.  In McClain County Miranda Beatty encountered Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Newcastle; and Jana McCord noticed Bewick’s Wren and Purple Finch in Blanchard. 

On the 13th Abigail Hobbs photographed Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch and Fox Sparrow at Bowlegs in Seminole County;  Megan Migues viewed Hairy Woodpecker at Stroud in Lincoln County; Tracie Verkler saw Brewer’s Blackbird at Kingfisher Park; Caleb McKinney confirmed Common Merganser and Rudy Duck at the S-curved Pond in Grady County; and Zac Hemans verified Pied-billed Grebe and American White Pelican at Liberty Lake in Logan County.  On the 14th Tanya Smity found Lincoln’s Sparrow in Potawatomie County; Angel Carter photographed Yellow-headed Blackbird in Blanchard in McClain County; and Matthew Adams identified American Tree Sparrow in Guthrie in Logan County. 

On the 15th Melody Hobbs tallied White-breasted Nuthatch, Chipping Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow at Bowlegs;  Logan Carter recognized Ruddy Duck and Greater White-fronted Goose at Shawnee; Larry Mays located Red-breasted Nuthatch at home in Newcastle; Melissa Shackford added White-winged Dove in Logan County; Joe Grzybowski and Dick Gunn discovered American Kestrel along South Jenkins in Norman; NancicomN MollNancicomNM documented Common Redpoll in Edmond in Oklahoma County; and Manning Wilson described a Purple Finch at Paul’s Valley in Garvin County.  Scott Loss spotted Glaucous Gull at Lake Carl Blackwell and reported the lake was mostly frozen, roads into the park were passable with past experience driving on snow but the road out to ski point was covered with deep drifts and impassable; and he also reported several ice-bound dead or dying water birds. In spite of the severe winter weather storm over the weekend, birders were able to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count in all 12 Central Oklahoma Counties. 

The new species seen in all 12 counties during February in addition to the American Crow and Canada Goose for January included Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Great Blue Heron, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Harris’s Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Red-winged Blackbird, and Northern Cardinal.  How many did you have on your list?  Which ones will be added in March and April?

On the 16th in Logan County Natasha Sodowski came across Savannah Sparrow; Jeff Tibbits found Eastern Towhee; and Christie Stoops encountered Fox Sparrow at Cottonwood Creek.  On the 17th Eric LoPresti had Trumpeter Swan at Boomer Lake Park in Stillwater; and Hal Yocum added Yellow-rumped and Orange Crowned Warblers as occasional visitors in Edmond.  Along South Jenkins Dick Gunn described the snow as still 8 to 10 inches deep, soft and fluffy. The creek was one of the warmer and unfrozen bodies of water and was holding hundreds of ducks. On the 18th Allen Codding documented Trumpeter Swan and Tundra Swan at the J-M Ranch Lake in Oklahoma County. 

On the 19th Joe Grzybowski detected Savannah Sparrow, Lapland Longspur and Western Meadowlark along Ladd Road in McClain County; while John Sterling drove around the country roads in the Washita River Valley where he located over 100 Lapland Longspurs in small flocks as well as some Horned Larks and Bald Eagle. Dick Gunn reported it was still cold with no melting yet crunchy snow along South Jenkins and lots of ducks on the creek, some Wilson’s Snipe, Greater Yellowlegs, a couple of Carolina Wrens and Pileated Woodpecker.  On the 20th Randolph King confirmed Ross’s Goose north of Piedmont in Kingfisher County; Les Calger photographed Northern Shoveler at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; and Aaron Milligan identified Northern Bobwhite and Greater Roadrunner in Pottawatomie County. 

On the 21st Nathan Moses counted Northern Shoveler and Killdeer at Liberty Lake; the OU Ornithology Class and John Muller got Song Sparrow and Hairy Woodpecker along South Jenkins; Mike Yough noticed Evening Grosbeak at home in Stillwater; and Jacob Crissup observed Glaucous Gull at Lake Hefner.  On the 23rd Rosario Douglas recorded Ross’s goose at Washington in McClain County; and Zach DuFran turned up Green-winged Teal and Pileated Woodpecker along South Jenkins.  On the 24th Landon Neumann spotted Fish Crow at Windrock Creek in Stillwater; and Hollis Price had a quick encounter with two Pyrrhuloxia in her yard in Jones.  On the 26th Mary & Lou Truex located Glaucous Gull at Lake Overholser; and Hal Yocum observed Turkey Vultures and a surprise Black Vulture cruising over Mitch Park. On the 27th Braden Farris reported Glaucous Gull and Purple Martin at Lake Hefner—Prairie Dog Point. 


Mark your calendars to take part in one or more fun activities this spring.

Join the 2021 Spring BioBlitz OK at  https://biosurvey.ou.edu/bioblitzok/ and register for free.  Observations can be recorded through iNaturalist, Budburst and/or eBird. Yes eBird.  It is really easy.  After registering with BioBlitz, all of your Oklahoma April eBird lists can be counted in the BioBlitz by simply sharing each with “BioBlitz! OK”.  

OOS 2021 Spring Meeting at Sequoyah State Park on April 16-18.  https://www.okbirds.org/events .

First Birdlam April 17, 2021 see https://paynecountyaudubonsociety.com/birdlam/  to register and learn about T-shirts, rules, prizes and various ways to participate in either Payne or Cleveland County. 

The Breeding Bird Survey has several routes available https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RouteMap/Map.cfm# .

Sign up for Breeding Bird Atlas blocks at https://www.suttoncenter.org/research/ok-bird-atlases-surveys/second-oklahoma-breeding-bird-atlas/. And Global Big Day is May 8th https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-8-may-2021.


In the Central Oklahoma area during February, 154 species were reported with 9 new species which brings the year’s total to 168. 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: https://ebird.org/region/US-OK?yr=all. (Accessed: February 27 & 28, 2021); occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at emkok@earthlink.net.  Esther M. Key, Editor.