Summer 2020

What a busy summer for birdwatchers !!  31 Breeding Bird Atlas blocks were assigned in eight central Oklahoma counties.  But there are still quite a few left for next year for those that want to participate in nearby locations.  For the first time all 12 counties have surpassed the 100 species mark with four counties over 200 species, and 3 others over 140 species.  A beautiful rare red bird was found in Garvin county and just after the hurricane a Magnificent Frigatebird and two Jaegers briefly arrived in Tulsa county.  Keep your eyes open for you never know what will visit.



On the 3rd Chris Butler came across Belted Kingfisher and Orchard Oriole at Bethel Acres in Pottawatomie County; and during a nocturnal count Mike Yough detected Common Nighthawk and Chuck-will’s-widow near Perkins in Lincoln County.  On the 4th Jimmy Woodard recognized Northern Parula during his Luther BBA plot.  On the 5th Braden Farris turned up Cliff Swallow along OK-33 in Kingfisher County.  On the 6th James Hubbell counted Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Brown Thrasher and Dickcissel in Seminole County; while Jerry Vanbebber got Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Bell Cow Lake in Lincoln County. 

On the 7th in Grady County Matt Gore photographed Black-bellied Whistling Duck on the roof of a house near Minco and Jennifer Atwell found Gray Catbird in Chickasha.  On the 8th Caleb McKinney observed Northern Bobwhite in Ninnekah in Grady County.  On the 9th Chris Butler reported Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Yellow-breasted Chat at Maud Wetland in Seminole County and Black-and-white Warbler and Summer Tanager in Macomb in Pottawatomie County.  On the 10th Cole Sites saw House Finch at Cromwell in Seminole County.  On the 13th Aaron Milligan discovered Wood Duck at Washington in McClain County.

On the 14th Scott Loss documented Common Gallinule at Cushing Water Treatment Plant in Payne County; and Richard Hasegawa recorded Northern Rough-winged Swallow along the H E Bailey Turnpike near Chickasha.  On the 17th Chris Butler identified Pileated Woodpecker at Paul’s Valley Lake in Garvin County.  On the 27th K Dean Edwards had Mississippi Kite along I-40 in Seminole County.  On the 28th in Pottawatomie County Jerry Vanbebber located Northern Bobwhite and Great Egret at McLoud, Purple Martin at Wes Watkins Lake and Cooper’s Hawk in Shawnee; while in Logan County Scott Loss spotted Blue Grosbeak on Hiwassee Road north of Langston University.



On the 3rd in Logan County Braden Farris found Little Blue Heron and Eastern Wood-Pewee at Cimarron National Golf Club at Cedar Valley; and Jerry Vanbebber came across Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at Mineral Wells Park.  On the 4th at various locations in Kingfisher County Jerry Vanbebber added 18 species to that county’s yearly count including Northern Bobwhite, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Western Kingbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Blue Grosbeak, Painted Bunting, Solitary Sandpiper, and Swainson’s Hawk.  On the 7th Someone had Fish Crow and Louisiana Waterthrush in Paul’s Valley. 

On the 11th Trina Arnold photographed Vermilion Flycatcher at Lake R.C. Longmire in Garvin County which she first posted on the OOS Facebook page.  The bird has continued at the lake until the end of August and into September.  Meanwhile, several other new species for the county are being reported as birders visit the site to see this special bird.  On the 15th Brian Marra detected Neotropic Cormorant at Lake Hefner – Prairie Dog Point.  On the 16th Rod Lusey verified Laughing Gull at Arcadia Lake in Edmond.  On the 18th Braden Farris watched Chimney Swift fly over the Kingfisher Golf Club; and Zach DuFran noticed White-winged Dove in Purcell in McClain County. 

On the 19th Brian Marra encountered Wood Duck, Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Hairy Woodpecker, and Northern Paula at Lake R.C. Longmire; and Zach Poland confirmed Green Heron in Shawnee. On the 20th Braden Farris observed Mallard, Chimney Swift and Forster’s Tern at Lake R.C. Longmire.  On the 24th Susan Mac recorded Rock Pigeon and Chimney Swift along I-40 in Earlsboro in Seminole County .  David Schneider saw Mallard at Seminole State College and at Lake R.C. Longmire Spotted Sandpiper and Acadian Flycatcher.  On the 25th Braden Farris viewed Rock Pigeon in Lincoln County; while Mike Yough identified Western Sandpiper at Cushing Water Treatment Plant.  On the 26th Lisa Sellers had Western Meadowlark and Killdeer in Shawnee; and Mike Yough discovered Yellow-throated Vireo at Lake R.C. Longmire.  On the 27th Patrick Dechon spotted Snowy Egret along I-40 in Seminole County.  On the 30th Chris Butler counted Great Egret and Snowy Egret in Byars in McClain County. 



On the 1st Don Pearson recognized White-faced Ibis flying over Elmore City Lake.  On the 4th William Funk added Snowy Egret at Lake R.C. Longmire. On the 7th Joe Grzybowski documented Laughing Gull at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel in Cleveland County. On the 12th Susan Ross noticed Black-necked Stilt in Stillwater.  On the 14th Cindy Crane detected Prothonotary Warbler at Guthrie Lake in Logan County.  On the 15th Braden Farris described Olive-sided Flycatcher at Rose Lake in Canadian County; and Cody Delano found Western Sandpiper at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel.  On the 16th Aaron Milligan located Little Blue Heron and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Macomb.

On the 17th Scott Loss described Laughing Gull and saw Caspian Tern at Lake Carl Blackwell in Payne County.  On the 19th John Tharp discovered Willow Flycatcher at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel.  On the 20th Melinda Stringfield counted Prothonotary Warbler at Lake R.C. Longmire.  On the 22nd Don Pearson spotted Green Heron, Osprey and Yellow Warbler at Elmore City Lake.  On the 24th Jacob Crissup identified Forster’s Tern at Lake Elmer in Kingfisher County.  On the 25th Ron Clifton got Little Blue Heron near Rush Springs.  On the 28th Joe Grzybowski confirmed Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lake Thunderbird – East Sentinel.  On the 30th Chris Butler came across Spotted Sandpiper, Black Tern, Forster’s Tern and Least Flycatcher at Maud Wetlands and Least Flycatcher and Black-throated Green Warbler at Wes Watkins; while Grace Huffman and Elizabeth Hacker observed Mourning Warbler at NW 50th and Morgan in Yukon.  As fall migration begins what returning birds will be seen?? Time to make plans for the biggest ever birding October Big Day on October 17th.  For further details see

In the Central Oklahoma area during the summer of 2020, 166 species were reported with 3 new species bringing the total for 2020 to 287. 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: . (Accessed: August 31, 2020). And occasionally from Facebook, the OKBIRDS List and BBA information can be found at  I can be contacted by e-mail at  Esther M. Key, Editor.


                                                                Aug        May       April       March   Feb        Jan         31 BBA    8 Counties                        

Kingfisher                            111         087         062         056         021         010         2

Pottawatomie                   116         099         078         058         035         027         5             

                Seminole                             116         099         091         060         008         008         0

Lincoln                                  123         117         070         054         047         030         0

Garvin                                   128         093         067         053         037         003         5

Grady                                    142         137         111         073         068         048         0

                Logan                                    151         145         118         088         079         059         0

McClain                                159         155         130         094         073         038         0

                Canadian                             223         221         187         133         104         089         5

                Cleveland                            239         235         206         149         114         093         2

                Oklahoma                           247         243         214         154         133         125         8

                Payne                                   248         244         216         154         122         111         4


Number of bird species reported in 2020 according to eBird.