February 2022

The Great Backyard Bird Count was reported in 11 of the 12 central Oklahoma counties with three new species for the year documented during that time period. 

On the 1st Rhett Ralbley came across Northern Bobwhite and Spotted Towhee at Mulhall in Logan County; and Scott Loss found Yellow-rumped Warbler at Richmond Road in Stillwater.  On the 2nd Chad Ellis described White-winged Scoter at Lake Overholser.  On the 3rd Tim O’Connell verified Rusty Blackbird in Stillwater; Scott Loss detected Lapland Longspur in north Logan County; and American Woodcock at Whittenberg Park in Stillwater. Terri Underhill announced her resident Great Horned Owls laid their first egg of the season in her barrel nest box. On the 4th Alex Harman spotted Horned Lark and Greater White-fronted Goose at Meridian Technology Center Pond in Stillwater. 

On the 5th Trina Arnold added Bald Eagle at Konawa in Seminole County; Steve Stone photographed Field Sparrow at Lindsay in Garvin County; Grace Huffman tallied Glaucous Gull at Lake Overholser; Alex Harman had Orange-crowned Warbler at Lake Carl Blackwell; and Joe Grzybowski recognized Wilson’s Snipe and Winter Wren along South Jenkins in Norman. On the 6th Grace Huffman documented Eastern Towhee at Mitch Park; Alex Harman identified Pine Warbler and Merlin at Couch Park in Stillwater; and Job Grzybowski noted the Rock Wren was still present at the Lake Thunderbird dam. On the 7th Steve Davis recorded Yellow-rumped Warbler at Lake Elmer in Kingfisher County. 

On the 8th Scott Loss counted Bufflehead at Bell Cow Lake, White-breasted Nuthatch at Chandler and Western Meadowlark in Lincoln County; and Brewer’s Blackbird along Richmond Road in Stillwater; Jerry Vanbebber described Surf Scoter at Lake Overholser Dam; and Jimmy Woodard observed Forster’s Tern at Lake Hefner-Prairie Dog Point.  On the 9th Grace Huffman located Marsh Wren at Lake Overholser police station walkway; and Deanne McKinney an Eastern Screech-Owl in Oklahoma City. On the 10th Scott Loss saw Hairy Woodpecker at The Botanic Garden at OSU; at Lake Overholser Melinda Droege described White-winged Scoter and Eared Grebe while Brian Marra photographed Long-tailed Duck. 

On the 12th Curtis Stewart viewed Ferruginous Hawk at Hwy 51 in Kingfisher County; Brian Marra had Lapland Longspur and American Pipit at Stinchcomb WR; Clay Billman documented California Gull at Lake Hefner; while a group of birders led by Jimmy Woodward heard American Woodcock at the Equestrian field on the NW side of Lake Stanley Draper in Midwest City.  On the 13th Curtis Steward got Eastern Screech-Owl in Hennessey; Mike Yough discovered Brown Thrasher and Swamp Sparrow at Cushing WT Plant in Payne County; and Curtis Stewart flushed an Eastern Screech-Owl near Hennessey. On the 15th Braden Farris encountered Northern Bobwhite at Arcadia Conservation Education Area.



On the 18th Michelle Spacek came across Red-shouldered Hawk at Pink in Pottawatomie County; Steve Stone spotted Northern Harrier along Turner Turnpike in Lincoln County; Wendy Navarro got Wild Turkey at Guthrie in Logan County; Zach DuFran viewed Belted Kingfisher at Kevin Gottshall Memorial Park in Norman; and Landon Neumann confirmed American Tree Sparrow at OSU-Cross Country Course in Payne County. 

On the 19th Hope McGaha saw Northern Flicker at Macomb and RE Carlberg heard Barred Owl north of Shawnee in Pottawatomie County; Jason Shaw detected Song Sparrow at USAO Habitat Area in Grady County; Natasha Sodowsky found Sharp-shinned Hawk at Cashion in Kingfisher County; Braden Farris tallied Eastern Bluebird at Prairie Prime Ranch in Lincoln County; in McClain County Larry Mays described Merlin in Newcastle and Laura Madden noted Red-breasted Nuthatch at Blanchard; while at Lake Hefner Megan Migues documented Great Black-backed Gull

On the 20th Jason Shaw had Snow Goose at Shannon Springs Park in Grady County; William Baker counted American Goldfinch at Yukon in Canadian County; in Logan County Melinda West recognized Brown Creeper at Guthrie; and William Radke identified Pied-billed Grebe at Guthrie Lake; while in Cleveland County Robert Karges documented Tundra Swan at Triple Heart West Ranch.  On the 21 Edward Standefer added Tufted Titmouse  at Wynnewood in Garvin County; Brian Marra verified Pileated Woodpecker Stinchcomb WR; Megan Migues photographed Blue-winged Teal at Sanborn Lake in Stillwater; and Jimmy Woodward heard Fish Crow at his Midwest City home in Oklahoma County. What an excellent ending to the GBBC.

On the 22nd Joe Grzybowski described California Gull at McClain County Sod Farm.  On the 25th Steve Stone photographed Black-crowned Night-Heron at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point.  On the 26th Rebekah Ratcliffe recorded Sandhill Crane in McClain County.  On the 26th Amanda Boyle located Harris’s Sparrow and Red-bellied Woodpecker in Seminole; and Kevin Wilson observed Common Merganser at Lake Carl Blackwell.

Thanks to the many reports from the GBBC, 8 species have been reported in all 12 counties, 11 species in 11 counties and 15 species in 10 counties.  Not all species from last month’s 11 and 10 county counts moved up to all 12 counties.  In February the birds first seen this year in all 12 counties are Canada Goose, Red-tailed Hawk, Blue Jay, American Crow, Carolina Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Harris’s Sparrow, and Northern Cardinal. 

In the Central Oklahoma area during February 144 species were reported with 9 new species which brings the year’s total at 149.  I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2022 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, 2022); and occasionally from Facebook, and the OKBIRDS List.  I can be contacted at emkok@earthlink.net.  Esther M. Key, Editor. 


                                                                Feb        Jan                        

Seminole                             019         002

Garvin                                   029         007

Pottawatomie                   053         037

Kingfisher                            039         016

Grady                                    067         060

                Logan                                    089         072        

McClain                                076         062

Lincoln                                  067         061

Canadian                             097         079

                Cleveland                            119         107

                Payne                                   126         122

                Oklahoma                           131         119

Number of bird species reported in 2021 according to eBird.        www.ebird.org