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Hominy-Bird Creek Drainage, Sperry
Tulsa County

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From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society. This account has not been reviewed or updated to ensure accuracy.


The Hominy Creek-Bird Creek drainage in northwestern Tulsa County is extensive, the bottomlands supporting a wide variety of deciduous growth and birdlife. The Sperry township includes large tracts of land cut by meandering streams, land that may never be suitable for development but which hides a surprising number of oil pumps. Although many sections are fenced, roadside birding is excellent with little traffic.

Exit west from US 75 on 86 St. N (0.0), and turn right immediately after crossing Bird Creek bridge to a graveled road at mile 1.9. The first part of this road is best and should be walked slowly for good coverage. The road winds through oil-lease land with ponds, small marshes, and tall trees with the accompanying shrubby growth. Woodland birds are abundant at all seasons. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Painted and Indigo buntings are common nesters. The Acadian Flycatcher may nest. Fine warbler habitat can bring in 15 or more species from April through mid-May. The road straightens to the west past small farm houses, becoming 91 St. N as it intersects with North Peoria Ave.

One-half mile north on Peoria at 96 St. drive along the eastern side of the small park to find woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, and occasionally in migration Rusty Blackbirds. In dense growth to the east look for Cardinal, Mockingbird, American Goldfinch, and Tufted Titmouse. Check open fields north of the park for egrets and herons in summer. When there is water, there are shorebirds and Yellow-crowned Night Herons.

Drive west to Sperry Lake and park in the church lot. Walk east past a small building and down to the lake. If the path down the narrow peninsula is open, Marsh Wrens are found in spring. Purple Martins, Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Yellowthroats are abundant in summer. Purple Gallinule (June), Common Moorhen (May and October), and Tundra Swan (March) have spent several days on the lake. In times of drought extensive mud flats attract hundreds of migrating shorebirds from August through October. American and Least bitterns and Sora are fairly common in reed edges in fall; 3 Virginia Rails remained for 10 days in September. The best time to work this area is late afternoon.

Continue the route by driving north on SH 11 to 106 St. N and turn east. Watch fields and fences for Lark and Field sparrows, Eastern Meadowlarks, Dickcissels, and Great-tailed Grackles in summer. Park on the south side of the road when approaching the one-lane Hominy Creek bridge and walk the area. The fields on both sides are wooded along the creek banks, providing a great variety of birdlife. The Barred Owl is often heard. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (winter), Red-bellied and Hairy woodpeckers are here; warblers, vireos, and thrushes in spring. Check tree-top snags for the Painted Bunting in summer. Summer Tanagers and Northern Parula are found in the tall trees over the creek.

Drive across the bridge and turn north on Peoria. In winter the White-crowned, White-throated, Harris's, Fox, and Lincoln's sparrows are numerous. Drive north on the narrow road and stop where the stream goes through a culvert. The Wood Duck nests here and Mallard and Blue-winged Teal are often seen. Yellow-rumped Warblers and Carolina Wrens are usually present in winter. Bobwhite Quail can be found in the brushy growth along the fences..

Another excellent place to walk is the corner of Peoria and 116th St. N where the road turns west. The Prothonotary and Kentucky warblers nest near the small stream, and Red-shouldered Hawks nest on both sides of the road. In spring this is an outstanding spot to see warblers, vireos, kinglets, and flycatchers; in winter, sparrows, Purple Finches, kinglets, Rufous-sided Towhees, and Brown Thrashers. This route is productive any time of the year and is an easy one to do alone or with a group.

 

 

 

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Last modified: September 21, 2009

 

 

 

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