Picher is an old lead and zinc mining area. It has a large quantity of
"chat", tailing or gravel piles left from the mines, throughout the
area. These tailings provide nesting sites for Bank Swallows, Northern
Rough-winged Swallows, plus some Cliff Swallows and a few Barn Swallows.
In the Mineral Heights chat pile Belted Kingfishers and American
Kestrels have nested in the past. This is the easiest of the chat piles
to visit and the Bank Swallows nest consistently.
get to the Mineral Heights chat pile, travel to Picher on US 69. (To
reach US 69, exit from I 44 at Miami.) Going north, turn right on 7 St.
and continue east four blocks. After crossing the railroad tracks note
the Mineral Heights chat pile to the south of the road. The swallows are
active from March 31 to August 4, with peak activity from May 1 to June
Another interesting species is the Long-eared Owl. These roost in the
Picher area from December to February. The colonial roost is located at
"Blue Mound" just north of Picher on US 69, which is Connell St. in
Picher. A total of 33 Long-eared Owls at one time have roosted at Blue
Mound for over twelve years. There are lowlands and marshes in the
immediate vicinity of the chat piles, plus several streams, good habitat
for warblers during spring migration.
the west of Picher about 4 miles the Greater Prairie-Chickens boom in
early mornings before daylight the first two weeks in April. A total of
10 booming grounds were located in the immediate area during this time
The contact persons for permission and directions to Blue Mound are Sam
Freeman, 516 S. River St., Picher, OK 74360, telephone (918) 6731063,
or A. L. Suman, 214 S. Vantage St., Picher, OK 74360.