January 2020

What a great start for the year.  All counties turned in reports to eBird and two counties reported over 100 bird species. Four bird species were seen in 11 of the 12 counties.  Who do you think they were? Forty species were reported in only one or two counties and are marked in bold.  What other central Oklahoma counties can these species be found and reported?

The first bird report of the year was at 1:00 am when Mike Yough observed a Great Horned Owl at home in Stillwater and later Alex Harman photographed Orchard Oriole at the OSU Cross Country Course. Larry Mays located Lapland Longspur along CR 1290 in Grady County; in Logan County Dustin Lynch counted Bonaparte’s Gull and Pied-billed Grebe at Guthrie Lake, and Eastern Bluebird and American Robin at Liberty Lake. At Lake Overholser west in Canadian County Jimmy Woodard discovered Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Lesser Black-backed Gull.  In Norman along South Jenkins Caleb Frome reported Wild Turkey, Greater White-fronted Goose, Winter Wren and Red-headed Woodpecker; and along Rock Creek Road Diane Thompson spotted White-winged Dove. In Midwest City Jimmy Woodward recorded White-throated Sparrow and Turkey Vulture; at Martin Park Nature Center Dustin Lynch detected Lincoln Sparrow and Ruby-crowned Kinglet; and at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point Brian Marra got Forster’s Tern and Common Loon; Caleb Frome described Surf Scoter and White-winged Scoter; and Don Maas recognized Common Merganser.

On the 2nd Steve Davis photographed at Rose Lake Least Sandpiper, at Lake Overholser west Eared Grebe, and at Lake Overholser east Wood Ducks.  In Grady County Caleb McKinney came across Brewer’s Blackbirds and Brown Thrasher; at Summit Place Subdivision in OKC Bill Diffin saw Bewick’s Wren; and at Lake Thunderbird Don Maas tallied Double-crested Cormorant. Scott Loss also had a busy day: at Lake Carl Blackwell he confirmed Wilson’s Snipe, White-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swamp Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, Pine Warbler, on Peach Road American Tree Sparrow, Loggerhead Shrike, Smith’s Longspur, and on 19th between Perry and Vassar Road he described House Wren

On the 4th Braden Farris added American Kestrel along OK-33 in Kingfisher County; and in northwest Payne county Mike Yough documented Vesper Sparrow and Pileated Woodpecker.  On the 5th in Logan County at Kairworks Garden D&D Norris verified Harris’s Sparrow, and Yellow-rumped Warbler; on the OSU Cross Country Course Alex Harman flushed a Sedge Wren and LeConte’s Sparrow; and at Lake Hefner Chase Moxley encountered Lesser Black-backed Gull and Common Goldeneye.  On the 6th Caleb Hawley identified Red-tailed Hawk along I-40 in Seminole County.  On the 7th Kyle Hawley noticed Red-shouldered Hawk in Grady County; and Calvin Rees turned up Herring Gull and Northern Shoveler at 63rd and Kilpatrick Turnpike wetlands. 

On the 8th Steve Davis reported Lesser Goldfinch at his feeder in OKC.  On the 9th Brian Marra detected Virginia Rail and Swamp Sparrow at Lake Hefner Bert Cooper Trails.  On the 11th Adelynn Woodard recorded Horned Grebe in Shawnee in Pottawatomie County; and in Norman Cole Sites discovered Merlin; while Zach DuFran counted Lesser Scaup and Redhead Duck at Kevin Gottshall Memorial Park.  On the 13th William Radke viewed Bald Eagle, Savannah Sparrow and Northern Pintail at Rose Lake.  On the 14th Brian Marra observed Greater Yellowlegs and Fox Sparrow at Stinchcomb WR West in Canadian County. 

On the 15th George Chiu had Smith’s Longspur and Western Meadowlark on Rockwell Ave just north of Waterloo Road in Logan County; John Moyer photographed Bald Eagle at Lake Thunderbird Alameda Dr Bridges; and Jared Elmore got Great Egret in Stillwater.  On the 16th Brian Marra recognized Red-necked Grebe and Horned Grebe at Lake Hefner.  On the 18th Joe Grzybowski found Northern Harrier and American Wigeon at Goldsby Sod Farm in McClain County; and Ross’s Goose and Greater White-fronted Goose along Ten Mile Flats in Cleveland County.  Branden Farris confirmed American Pipit at Howard Farms in Oklahoma County.  Lapland Longspur were seen feeding in Coyle in Logan County. Steve Davis came across Short-eared Owl west of El Reno, and photographed Pine Siskin at his feeder in OKC.  

On the 19th Chase Moxley had American Tree Sparrow and Eared Grebe at Lake Hefner Prairie Dog Point.  On the 21st Larry Mays saw Orange-crowned Warbler at home in McClain County; Taylor Harting and Kayley Thurber tallied Bald Eagle along I-35 south of Guthrie; and Brad Rose added Black-crowned Night-Heron at the OKC Zoo Lake Park.  On the 23rd Emily Carter identified Eastern Screech-Owl in OKC.  On the 24th Mary & Lou Truex encountered Snow Goose, Cackling Goose, and Canvasback near the Dover US-81 Sand Pit in Kingfisher County. 

On the 25th near Paul’s Valley in Garvin County Gregg Friesen got Black Vulture and Mary Sallee spotted Bald Eagle.  Brian Marra photographed Common Ground Dove and Eastern Towhee at Stinchcomb WR east.  On the 26th Chris Butler turned up Cedar Waxwing and Spotted Towhee at Wes Watkins in Pottawatomie County; and Hermit Thrush at Meeker Lake in Lincoln County.  On the 28th Scott Loss described Rough-legged Hawk at Lake Carl Blackwell.  On the 29th Carlberg observed American Woodcock in Shawnee. On the 30th Jacob Crissup spotted Marsh Wren and Song Sparrow at Rose Lake; and Braden Farris detected LeConte’s Sparrow at Lake Stanley Draper. The four species seen in 11 of the 12 counties were Canada Geese, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel and American Crow. How many places and days can you submit checklists during the Great Backyard Bird Count February 14-17, 2020?


In the Central Oklahoma area during January 2020, 140 species were reported. I appreciate those who help provide the history of central Oklahoma birds. Information is accessed at:  ebird. 2020 eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Available: http://www.ebird.org/subnational1/US-OK/region. (Accessed: January 31, 2020). And occasionally from Facebook and the OKBIRDS List. I can be contacted by e-mail at emkok@earthlink.net.  Esther M. Key, Editor.



                Seminole             008

                Garvin                   003

                Pottawatomie   027        

Grady                    048

                McClain                038

Lincoln                  030

                Kingfisher            010

                Logan                    059        

                Canadian             089

                Payne                   111

                Oklahoma           125

                Cleveland            093                        

Number of bird species reported in 2019 according to eBird. Current year, region.            www.ebird.org