Oklahoma manages to offer many challenges in our daily lives, not only to humans, but to our wildlife as well. We have not had many opportunities to enjoy birding or even venture outside for the past few weeks. It’s difficult to bird while trotting across the yard into a downpour and diving into our storm shelter! But we’ve been blessed – no flood, wind or hail damage so far.
The constant rain has interfered with our Purple Martins efforts to set up housekeeping. They come and go, but so far have not managed to build any nests. The ubiquitous House Sparrows just keep on keeping on! In between storms, everything bursts into song. Our Brown Thrasher is extremely happy. This year we have Great-tailed Grackles and I would gladly direct them to another yard. The Cardinals have a nest in the front flower bed, or at least they had one earlier! Hummers are in the yard and can usually be seen darting among the flowering shrubs and plants when the rain quits.
A few recent fly-bys caught our attention: Hunting Mississippi Kites, hunting Cooper’s Hawks, Night Herons, Nighthawks, Egrets, Mallards, Canada Geese, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. We heard a Great Horned Owl at the end of May, so I guess that means they survived the storms.
When I drive over the Oklahoma River in the Boathouse District, I’ve noticed the Cliff Swallows have taken over the bridge this year. Hope they get to stay! Scissortails seem to be everywhere near major intersections on the south side of Oklahoma City. Folks only need to drive around major streets and these graceful aerial insect-snatchers can be found, along with Western Kingbirds.
Back on May 10th, Brian found a female American Redstart in our trees at the front of the house. He also heard a Pewee calling in the area. We’ve heard and seen a few of the expected migrants in our Oklahoma City yard. Storms and downpours have kept us pretty close to home, so we are not up to date on what’s moved into our Byars property. On March 24th, Brian spotted a Prairie Falcon at SE 59th and Bryant.
Looking forward to BBS season, although some of the rural roads BBS participants travel may present a few challenges and this year’s counts may present a few challenges. Happy BBS; Happy Summer!