|This large cemetery is located at the
southeastern corner of the intersection of 51st St, South and Memorial
Drive in Tulsa. From Highways I-44, I-244 or Broken Arrow Expressway
exit at Memorial Drive a go south to 51st St. Enter at Main gate just
east of Memorial, or a second gate about a quarter mile further east.
The best route for birding is to drive the entire perimeter of the
cemetery by staying to the right at all intersections.
The cemetery has many large trees, both deciduous
and evergreen. Two small streams flow through the western section and
are lined with large trees and low brush which provide excellent habitat
for resident and migrant birds. A walk along the streams will usually
yield Brown Thrashers, Catbirds, Carolina Wrens, sparrows and
woodpeckers in summer. In winter the brush is filled with Dark-eyed
Juncos and White-Throated, White-crowned, Harris's and Song Sparrows.
Yellow-rumped Warblers are usually present. In spring migration many
warblers use this same area. At the east end of the wooded portion of
the cemetery is a lake where Mute Swans and same tame geese and ducks
are kept. This also attracts many migratory waterfowl in the winter and
spring. Redhead, gadwall, Canvasback, Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Mallard
and bufflehead ducks and Green-winged and Blue-winged teal have been
recorded. Pied-billed and Horned Grebes are also frequent visitors. A
Green-backed Heron is often seen in summer. In the open areas
Mockingbirds, Robins, and Killdeer are common. Flocks of Brown-headed
Cowbirds, blackbirds, and Common Grackles arrive in the spring. Upland
Sandpipers and Horned Larks have also been found in the newly developed
open area at the far eastern end of the cemetery.
A hedge of cedars just east and south of
the lake is an excellent place to find Bobwhite, Kestrel, Loggerhead
Shrike, and Cedar Waxwing. Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned kinglets also
use these trees.
A Red-tailed Hawk nests someplace in or
near the cemetery and flies over it regularly. A Great Horned Owl also
nests here. One year the nest was in a large pine tree on lot 36 on a
low branch where many people watched as the young hatched and grew their
Birders are welcome during the hours the
cemetery is open. This varies with the season but generally is from 8:00
a.m. until sunset. Check the sign on the gate as you enter.