A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma
Edition by John Kennington
As some of you older-timers may know (I
guess I now qualify as an "old-timer"!) Tulsa Audubon has in the past
published A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma. The first edition was
published in 1973, edited by Lois Rodgers, and a second edition in 1986,
edited by Elizabeth Hayes. Both are now out of print. They not only
covered Tulsa, but the entire state. Each was a collaborative effort of
many birders throughout the state, a veritable who's who of Oklahoma
birding and ornithology of those past decades. If you've been birding in
Oklahoma any length of time, read through the
acknowledgement pages of the
first and second editions for a trip down memory lane! And be sure
to read the Foreword to the first
edition written by George Miksch Sutton.
It was the only statewide birding guide
Several years ago the TAS board was
discussing if we should issue a new edition, but understandably no one
wanted to take on the effort. But we eventually did decide to make the
information from the old guide available on our web site. So I slowly
began scanning in and digitizing the accounts. And now, several years
and hundreds of hours later, the project has grown beyond all reason,
but is finally almost finished! That is the beauty of an on-line
guide - it can be continually updated, so it will never be truly
TAS may again
publish a revised edition, but for now have decided to make
the information available here on our web site. The core of
the site is the 1986 area accounts. Most include the original maps
drawn by Byron Ball, and these have been
supplemented with the latest mapping technologies,
particularly Google Maps, Google Earth, MSN Maps, Microsoft
Streets and Trips and Delorme Street Atlas. I found situations where
each was the most appropriate tool to use.
I updated as many of the accounts as I was
able, but there are many places I have never been to, or it has been
years since I last visited. At the top of each account I have indicated
when the last update was made, and many are simply the original 1986
account. I have asked a number of birders around the state to review
these accounts, and over the next several months hope to bring most of
these current to reflect the situation in 2007.
I also added a number of accounts for
places like Red Slough, Hackberry Flat, etc. that did not exist or
were not known about 20 years ago. For these I generally culled
information from other web sites (USFWS, The Nature Conservancy, etc.)
or from OKBirds, to create the accounts. However, please note that most
of these "new" areas do not yet have much information specific to bird
finding. I have again asked a number of birders around the state to
contribute areas accounts of these areas that focus on the bird life.
But not all areas have someone "assigned"
to update them! So please look at your favorite birding areas and if it
is out of date, please send me some updates. Or if you are traveling to
a remote area, please consider checking with me to see if the area needs
to be reviewed and updated.
I hope birders
around Oklahoma will continue to contribute updates to these
accounts, providing both local and visiting birders an
important resource in planning their birding activities.
With the Internet we can have a truly up-to-date guide that
will not go out of print.
Any accounts I get, photographs or other
significant input, will be credited to the author. And by the way, if
you happen to know who wrote any of the 1973/1986 accounts (or if it was
you) please let me know and I'll add a credit line. I don't have the
original material from 1973 or 1986, so I don't know who wrote most of
digitized and updated, there are undoubtedly many errors,
bad links, typos, incorrect mileages, etc. Please
email me any corrections, updates or additions.
If you know
of an area not included that you think should, let me know. Or better
yet, volunteer to write up a description!
What really got me motivated
to finish this project was the recently added ability to add
personalized placemarkers to Google Maps and Google Earth,
and then make those public. If you have high speed Internet,
you just have to try this in Google Earth. It is really
Thank you! And please send me any feedback
you might have!
Editor, Online Edition
If you would like to make a contribution
of a new account or an update, I will take whatever you are willing to
do. If you want to do a complete write-up, great. But I would also love
to get your notes on locations and birds, and I can put it together as
an account. All contributions will be welcome!
There is no specific style or format for
the area accounts. The existing accounts vary quite a bit, so do
whatever makes sense to you. But in general, the stuff to cover is an
overview, perhaps a bit about vegetation, geology, etc.; how to get
there; what interesting birds are present; and where, when and how to
see the birds.