Begin this trip at the
town of Jenks, south of Tulsa. The intersection of West Main St. and
South Elm is the actual starting point, at the Jenks Municipal Park with
its railroad car at the corner. Drive south on Elm past a sod farm on
the left where shorebirds are found after late spring rains. Watch the
woods on the right for woodpeckers, orioles, chickadees, and titmice.
The residential area gives way to open fields just beyond the woods.
Dickcissels, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Horned Larks, and hawks are
prevalent. The oil tank farm on the right (3.0) is often a good place to
find Lark Sparrows in summer. Eastern Kingbirds and Scissor-tailed
Flycatchers will be on the lines then too.
Peoria Ave. starts at
131 St. S. and Elm St. ends. Within a mile the terrain changes from open
fields to rolling hills. Nut trees, oaks, and some cottonwood trees
dominate the area. Small streams cross the road. Stop at the bridges and
search the trees and stream beds for birds. Warblers are found here in
spring and fall. Eastern Phoebes nest in summer, and in winter
nuthatches, kinglets, woodpeckers, and chickadees are abundant. Between
141 St. and 151 St. on the right side of the road are brush piles where
trees and shrubs have been thinned. Bewick's and Carolina wrens,
Mockingbirds, Brown Thrashers, and sparrows frequent the brush piles
and the Gray Catbirds return for summer.
The open-field habitat
is entered again at 151 St. There are numerous farm ponds throughout the
area where egrets and herons are common in summer. Purple Martins, Barn
Swallows, and Chimney Swifts are present all summer. Winter birds to
watch for are Western and Eastern meadowlarks, Great-tailed Grackles,
Horned Larks, Loggerhead Shrikes, Mourning Doves, and blackbirds. In
April Upland Sandpipers and GoldenPlovers are found in the fields in
The area to the east
at about 171 St. is interesting. A Burrowing Owl was seen here in 1983.
The habitat is ideal for a prairie dog town which attracts the owls, but
since the land is privately owned with no access from the road, no
evidence of such a town exists at present.
At 181 St. turn right
to examine a pond for Common Snipe, Killdeer, or, perhaps, for ducks and
egrets, according to season. Just past the pond turn back south to
Peoria Ave. Bluebirds are almost always near the next house on the left.
This stretch of road is lined with multiflora roses with small fruiting
shrubs and trees growing among them. In some places this tangle runs
back from the road for several yards. Stop here; pish or squeak to call
out wrens, catbirds, mockingbirds, thrashers, and woodpeckers. In winter
you will find White-crowned, White-throated, Fox, Song and Field
sparrows. Remain in the car and the birds will come very close.
South of the hedgerow
is a horse ranch where there are usually flocks of blackbirds. The
Great-tailed Grackles have moved into this area and in early spring
Brewer's Blackbirds may be expected. An old house, heavily overgrown
with trees and shrubs, is next on the route. The large cedars provide
food and shelter for many birds in winter. The house is occupied but the
people seem to accept birdwatchers stopping to view the area from the
At 201 St. S the route
has covered 12 miles. This section with small scattered residences holds
large numbers of pecan trees which attract an abundance of woodpeckers
and Blue Jays. There are two bridges in this one-mile area, a newer one
of concrete and a narrow, older bridge. Birds may be found at both;
spend a few minutes looking for Eastern Phoebes, Carolina Wrens, Indigo
Buntings, and the usual woodland birds. Warblers and kinglets are here
in the spring.
A pond on the right
with a good growth of cattails is frequented by Blue-winged Teal and
Mallards in spring and fall. Herons are here in summer. There is a good
brush pile near the pond worth investigating.
The route ends on 221
St. S (Okmulgee County) at a triangle with stop signs on either side.
Turn right (west) to reach US 75 to Tulsa or Okmulgee or turn left
(east) to reach Memorial Drive to return to Bixby or to Tulsa.