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A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma

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Prefaces, Acknowledgements & Introductions


Preface to Second Edition

There has been a recent, and welcome, explosion of interest in birding. One result is that the Tulsa Audubon Society's 1973 Bird Finding Guide for Tulsa County has been widely distributed and is now out of print.

The Tulsa Audubon Society is proud to present an updated and greatly expanded edition of the Guide. The new edition has better maps, complete descriptions of existing birding spots, and the addition of information on new areas and different habitats, not only in Tulsa County but throughout Oklahoma.

We hope Oklahoma birders will visit and enjoy these locations, keeping to mind the rights of the landowners and the need to preserve these precious habitats. We welcome out-of-state visitors to discover the birding marvels that Oklahoma has to offer.

Finally, many thanks to all the people who worked so hard to revise and prepare this edition. Thanks are also due to the birders and ornithologists across the state who filed reports on good spots in their areas. Their efforts will make birding easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Happy Birding,
Ken Wire President, 1984-1985
Tulsa Audubon Society

Acknowledgments to Second Edition

Appreciation is expressed to the many people who contributed in countless ways to this book. Thirty-nine revisions are included, several in which small routes were combined and others where large areas were completely rewritten, many with updated maps. Only one spot was not revised, and it is hoped human disturbance has not altered the fine birding opportunities. Forty-nine new birding areas are described. One of these is the first-to-be-published comprehensive study of the birdlife in the Black Mesa region by Dr. Jack D. Tyler. The time spent by each author in gathering information, working up maps, and writing the reports was considerable. Without these talented observers, the new Guide to Birding in Oklahoma would not have been possible.

Several authors wrote accounts of favorite birding spots in regions other than the one in which they live; some wrote two or more articles. The following who live outside Tulsa are listed by city and/or region: Paul Wilson, Custer; A. Marguerite and Fred M. Baumgartner, Jay; Dottie Goard, Howard Goard, Sophia Mery, Bartlesville; Ella Delap, Dewey: James L. Norman; Muskogee; Jeri McMahan, Ft. Gibson; Dennis E. Prichard, Vian; William A. Carter, Ada; Dana Base, Oklahoma City; Steve Van Riper, Tishomingo; Frances Neeld, John and Moryne Craythorne, Duncan; John Newell, Neil Garrison, Oklahoma City; Pat Bergey, Norman; Scott Shalloway, Stillwater; Kenneth Seyffert, Amarillo, Texas; Ina S. Brown, Elk City; Janet McGee, and Jack D. Tyler, Lawton.

Those from Tulsa who wrote or assisted in writing descriptive accounts are: Elwyn Aud, Sally Campbell, Lyn and John Dickerson, Bruce Ewing, R. G. Jennings, John Kennington, Rosemary Locks, Jo Loyd, Juanita Martin, Dorothy Norris, Fred Pianalto, James Peoples, Lois Rodgers, Louise Rogers, Forrest Romero, Patricia Seibert, Virginia Seibert, and June Wilson.

Thanks to John S. Tomer for his words about George M. Sutton; to Ellen Lee and the Tuesday Morning Birders; to Alice Hensy and Fred Pianalto who provided bird lists of city parks; to Anne Long for help with trees and shrubs of Tulsa County; to Laurel Upshaw for information on Tulsa wildflowers; to Bob Jennings and the Oxley Nature Center staff for expert help when needed; and to Ken Wire, President of the Tulsa Audubon Society for his cooperation and for the preface. Our thanks to Sally Campbell for proofreading the text many times and for editorial assistance; to Hannah Bass for significant contributions to the book fund through her slide presentations; to Roberta Whaling for designing the cover and for her drawing of the Greater Roadrunner; to Richard Romero for the Smith's Longspur, the frontispiece; and to Lois Rodgers, compiler of the first Guide, whose notes and organization kept us on the right track. The work of Byron Ball of the Oxley Nature Center is evident. The hours he spent researching maps from over the state, his expertise in designing the maps and his many pen and ink drawings have added immeasurably to the quality of this book. Thank you, Byron.

Each member of the Guide Committee had a part in all phases of building the new guide, from driving the old routes, keeping notes of changes, writing new articles and helping edit copy to the final task of "cutting and pasting" to prepare the book for the printer. Eleanor Sieg, who as President of the Tulsa Audubon Society in 1973 served on the early committee, brought a wealth of experience needed to publish a book of this kind, driving the first hundred miles in 1983 to check routes, and listing ideas for revision. Aline Romero, an experienced editor of the Tulsa Scissortail and a past editor of the OOS Scissortail, spent many hours on revision, new articles, and super typist that she is, did the final typing. To Kenneth Hayes fell the lot of organizing and executing fore and aft parts of the book, including the index.

Elizabeth Hayes
Compiler and Editor

Introduction

The Tulsa Audubon Society Bird Finding Guide, published in 1973, was the first of its kind in the state. Covering most of the best birding areas in Tulsa County and vicinity as well as several over the state, the Guide was popular with Oklahoma birders and with visitors to the Southwest. Out of print within a few years and with many favorite birding sites described in its pages no longer productive, the TAS guide was in need of revision. With the reassessment of major birding areas and driving routes in Tulsa County and northeastern Oklahoma, revision began in early 1983. A committee was formed in 1984 and local birders were asked to revise reports in Tulsa County or to describe new locations. Letters were written to earlier contributors in other cities asking for revisions or additions. Contacts were made with experienced field birders and ornithologists across the state, including one from Texas, who might help with outstanding birding spots new to the Guide. The response was excellent. It was suggested the revised Guide be an Oklahoma bird-finding guide.

The Plan of the New Guide
1986 Second Edition

The state of Oklahoma is divided into ten regions, nine in the main body of the state, the tenth covering only the Black Mesa area in the far western section of the Panhandle. With one exception the 10 regions follow county lines; the eastern part of Osage County with extensive riparian habitat, is included in the northeastern section of Oklahoma. Western Osage County is more appropriately placed in North-Central Oklahoma. The descriptive accounts are arranged geographically, beginning in the northeast and progressing mouth (or north) and west across the state. One additional sect ion is in Wept-Central Arkansas which follows the Black Mesa description.

Designed to interest both amateur and experienced field birders and to aid visiting birders, thin Guide includes habitat descriptions in some detail, with information on special requirements of selected species, their behavior, and song. Seasonal occurrence is given throughout the book. Additional information on habitat and climate was added by the committee to articles where needed, and editorial changes were made in the interest of clarity and brevity, and to conform to the general style of the book.

Two checklists are included: 1) Oklahoma Bird Species found East of the One Hundredth Meridian in which no seasonal occurrence is indicated. All but the most commonplace species mentioned in the text are included in the INDEX which should be used to locate areas where a species may be observed. 2) Typical Western Species in the Black Mesa Region of Oklahoma; Seldom recorded, Rare and Possible Species for the Black Mesa Region of Oklahoma; and Rare or Prospective Nesting Species in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, with seasonal occurrence, residential and nesting status given. This checklist of western species will serve to alert the birder to birding possibilities in the Black Mesa region. It should be used in addition to the INDEX as a reference; not all species are included in the text. The sequence of species and nomenclature follow the Check-list of North American Birds, 1983, of the American Ornithologists' Union.

Thirty-four maps accompany the text. Many of these are indicated on the large center-fold map of Oklahoma. With this map are two maps of Tulsa and Oklahoma City which will enable birders to reach birding locations in or near to these cities.

Preface to First Edition

It is the earnest hope of the officials of the Society and of the committee which compiled this guide that more birders will get out in the field as a result of this publication and they will report their observations to the appropriate recorder. The Society also hopes this guide will inspire others to publish guides by regions or a single comprehensive state guide. In the Tulsa area, the birder should plan to use Birds of Tulsa County and Vicinity, published by the Society in 1968. It is designed to provide the user with the status of the residence of birds in the area as established by records. Information about the publication is on page 105.

Eleanor (Mrs. J. G.) Sieg
President, Tulsa Audubon Society, 1973

Acknowledgments to First Edition

From the planning stages to the handing over of the pages to the typist, 41 individuals (including Dr. George M. Sutton and members of the committee) worked on one or more phases of the project. On the other hand, the directory was primarily the work of the committee with assistance from Emma (Mrs. John F.) Messerly of Bartlesville. She reviewed a draft of the directory and made a number of helpful comments and suggestions,

The guide exists because leaders in the field of ornithology were willing to share their favorite birding spots with others. There are almost as many guest participants as Tulsa Audubon member participants; 18 guest and 23 member. Seven of the member participants live in communities other than Tulsa where they are leaders in local clubs.

Guest and member reporters who do not live in Tulsa are listed by the communities in which they live, by region.

Howard and Dotty Goard, Sophia C. (Mrs. A. M.) Mery, and Mrs. Messerly of Bartlesville; James L. Norman of Muskogee; Mary (Mrs. S. R.) Williams of Okmulgee; Philip W. Norton of Sallisaw; Everett M. Grisby of Tahlequah (Lea Davis and Mame (Mrs.) Ginter of Tahlequah shared their special knowledge of Sequoyah State Park with Mr. Grisby); and Hazel (Mrs. Roy) Badger of Durant are the reporters from the eastern regions. Special recognition to Mr. Norman for 5 reports-2 in Northeast Oklahoma and 3 in the East Central Region.

Four leaders of the Stephens County Audubon Society of Duncan functioned as a team. Dorothy (Mrs. Claude) Paul served as coordinator and drafted the map which was given the final touches by John Craythrone. John and Moryne Craythrone and Frances (Mrs.) Neeld prepared descriptions. Mary Avolyn (Mrs. 0. D.) Johns of Norman, John G. Newell of Oklahoma City, Mrs. Helen Carleton and Zella Moorman of Perkins, D. (Mrs. D. J.) Isted of Cushing, and Kenton Riddle, formerly of Stillwater, are participants of the three central regions. Special recognition to Mrs. Johns for 5 reports of the Norman area and 1 in Caddo County. John Newell and Zella Moorman prepared reports of spots outside the central regions.

Ronald S. Sullivan of Jet and Jack D. Tyler of Lawton are the two contributors from the western regions.

Members from Tulsa are: Sally (Mrs. Francis) Campbell, Alice (Mrs. Floyd) Hensy, Rosemary Locks, Anne (Mrs. Bruce) Reynolds, Harold and Clare Spore, Russell Studebaker, and Thyra Williford. Members of the committee are: Wands (Mrs. Robert L.) Flaming, Linda (Mrs.) Hill Polly (Mrs. H. L.) Keating, Richard J. Sherry, Eleanor (Mrs. J. G,; Sieg, Tula (Mrs. Frank) Thomas, and John S. Tomer. It should be noted that 25 of the descriptions were written by members of the committee. The president of the TAS is listed as a full member and not ex-officio because her contributions were tremendous.

Appreciation is expressed to Mrs. Campbell for assistance in editing the reports; to the Wednesday Morning Bird Club of TAS for checking out the directions for several of the reports; to John, my husband, for working with me in the preparation of the maps; and to Louise (Mrs. Richard E.) Murphree for the final work on the maps and the special care taken in typing the contents of this guide.

Lois (Mrs. John F.) Rodgers
Chairman, 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

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