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Injured & Orphaned Birds

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Ivory-billed Woodpeckers

Lost Pigeons

House Sparrows

Bald Eagles

Woodpecker Damage





Tulsa Scissortail

The Bimonthly Newsletter of the Tulsa Audubon Society

Edited by Janie Cheek

March/April 2002


Household Pollutants Collection

Need a Great Spring Birding Trip?

Great Sales Events at March and April Meetings

Widely Known As 'Wild Canaries' - Nyla Bryant Woody

CARA Update - Bob Germany

TAS March - April Events

Field Trip to Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge April 19-21

From the President - Tomye Ann Mainer

2002 Least Tern Breeding Survey - Bob Harwood

Tulsa Community College Classes by Russell Studebaker

Note From 'Bluebird Bob'

Education and Outreach

Audubon Vermont Summer Camps

Notes About a Dear TAS Friend, Lois Rodgers - Laurel Upshaw

2001 Christmas Bird Count - Jo Loyd,

Recorder's Report - Amy Lambert

Have You Ever Wondered Just What Happens On A "Breeding Bird Survey"?
   Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge Breeding Bird Survey May 10th and 24th, 2001 by Gail Storey


March 23rd & 24th. 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tulsa Fairgrounds, 15th St Gate 7
Sponsored by City of Tulsa and Metropolitan Environmental Trust

Oil / antifreeze / pesticides / acids / paint / smoke alarms /
household cleaners / batteries / yard-care products / household toxins
/ caustics / thinner / bullets, 50 caliber or smaller.

There will be a Paint Swap: swap your usable
leftover paint for some brought in by others.

(Call the mayor's office or m.e.t. to confirm dates - they change


WASHINGTON CO, KS, BIRDING EVENT - Greater Prairie-Chicken Booming Grounds, April 6th & 7th
$8 until Mar 18, $10 after. For more information contact Washington County, Kansas, Convention and Visitors Bureau, (785) 325-2281 or web site

YUMA, ARIZONA, BIRDING & NATURE FESTIVAL April 17 - 21 For information contact Southwest Ecotourism Alliance, c/o Yuma Convention & Visitors Bureau, 202 South First Avenue, Suite 202, Yuma, AZ, 85364, or phone 1-800-293-0071.

Mary Jackson and Donna Germany, Sales Chairpersons

TAS is having a sale on everything in our sales inventory. Scissortail tees specially priced at $8; TAS logo tees, $5; county maps, $1; county date guide, $3; cardinal figurines (great for baseball and football fans too!), $3; bird clocks, $5; decals, $3; all patches & pins on sale too! Items will be on display at meetings or call Donna Germany, 493-2726, for more information or to place your order now.
And a SILENT AUCTION -- A NAS bookbag filled with goodies will be available for bidding in a silent auction during the March and April meetings. The opening bid is set at $25, and the winner will be announced at the May meeting. Some items included are; A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma; OOS & Tulsa County date guides; Bird Brains; World of Birds; Birds: Their Lives, Ways & World; and a collector's 1st Harlingen Birding Festival tee shirt.

Elaine Renning will also be on hand to take orders for those great bird pictures.

Plan to attend the meeting and place you bid on this treasure trove of memorabilia, buy pictures, and take advantage of the great sale bargains from our inventory. Can't come to meeting? - call Donna Germany, 493-2726.

Widely Known As 'Wild Canaries' 
Nyla Bryant Woody

The American Goldfinch ranges over all of North America except the Arctic. The bird is common from ocean to ocean. We enjoy them in Oklahoma all winter and can there be a more marvelous promise of spring than the first sign of yellow breeding plumage on the male American Goldfinch at the feeder?? In spring, the "adult male, is bright yellow with a black cap, black wings with white wing bars and yellow shoulder patch; uppertail and undertail coverts white; tail black and white. The female is duller overall, olive above and lacks black cap and yellow shoulder patch", according to National Geographic. Each winter, the numbers published from Oklahoma back yard feeder counts are always high. They are easily recognizable and a favorite with most everyone.
In winter, we see them feeding on the dried Rudbeckia flower and Sunflower heads in our garden. They particularly like Niger thistle, which we feed in mesh bags. I have a photograph, taken last winter of six of the bags hanging in fairly close proximity and I can count 26 Goldfinch in the photo. While we have quite a number of birds in winter, they come to our feeders in even greater numbers during spring migration. Some years, we have fed a fifty pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds every ten days. We normally have six seed feeders out during migration.
Since Goldfinch don't nest until late summer when other birds have mostly raised their broods, my 1917 Birds of America book describes their behavior: "The abandon and wild delight of the bird at this season while most other birds are feeding their young has brought forth many interesting comments from nature writers. Dr. Chapman in his Handbook says that 'their love song is delivered with an ecstasy and abandon which carries them off their feet, and they circle over the field sowing the air with music'.".
At any rate, they are lovely and we enjoy them during all seasons. Put up a couple of thistle bags and watch for them now and especially in Spring. Nyla Bryant Woody


CARA UPDATE - Get paper and pen ready!
Bob Germany, Conservation Chairman

As of 2/06/02, the United States Senate report shows that S.1318, Conservation and Reinvestment Act, was introduced on 8/2/01 by Senator Mary Landrieu (LA). On that same date, the bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM) is the chairman of that committee. Please address you inquiries and your letters of support to him at United States Senate, 703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20510, or telephone (202)224-5521. This bill has already passed the House. Remember, this will greatly benefit national, Oklahoma, and local wildlife habitats and conservation projects. (without 'infringement of property rights' as our Oklahoma Senators have been led to believe. Sorry, just had to say that, your editor, JC.)

TAS March - April Events

Every Tuesday Mar & Apr Tuesday Morning Birders meet at Tulsa Garden Center, 8 am thru Apr 3, then 7:30 am until fall. Join us! Call Neely Lowrie, 494-0401 or Patty Moser, 252-2824.

Sat Mar 2 & Apr 6, Birding with Oxley Nature Center staff in Mohawk Park. Meet 8 am at parking lot. Call 669-6644

Sat Mar 16 Field Trip Lake Claremore for waterfowl and migrants. Meet 7:30 am NW corner of Wal-Mart parking lot, south edge of Claremore. Leader Lynda Fritts, 669-6649

Tues Mar 19 General Meeting 7:30 pm at Tulsa Garden Center, 2435 So. Peoria. Butterflies of Oklahoma by TAS member Jim Thayer, teacher at Holland Hall. (This is a change in speakers; Walter Gerard, our original speaker had to cancel.) Jim is a butterfly enthusiast and will give us a great program. Presentation of slate of officers for next year and by-law changes that are to be voted on at April meeting.

Sun April 7 Daylight Savings Time begins, set clocks ahead one hour J!

Tues April 2 Board Meeting 7:00 pm Marcie Goad, 6204 S Fulton Circle, Warrensburg Addition, 492-0460 (Scissortail deadline for May-June issue Apr 9th)

Tues Apr 16 General Meeting 7:30 pm at Tulsa Garden Center. Annual Meeting - Election of Officers and changes in By-laws. Program: Oklahoma Wildflowers by Charles S. Lewallen, creator of 'Oklahoma Wildflowers' website. Mr. Lewallen will share his outstanding digital images of Oklahoma wildflowers, many with surprise visitors such a birds and insects.

Sat & Sun Apr 20-21 Field Trip Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge for spring migrants and summer residents. Leaders:  Bill Foster, 663-0973, and Gail Storey, 742-2684.

EARTH DAY April 22 Look for special events that week. Sat Apr 20th the Tulsa Zoo is sponsoring an Earth Day Bike Ride for children and adults, 30 mile & 15 mile. Contact Zoo for details, fees, and times.

Sat & Sun March 23 & 24 Hazardous Waste Collection Days Tulsa Fairgrounds, gate 7, off 15th street. 10 am to 3 pm each day. See inside for details.

Fri April 26th National Arbor Day Plant a Tree!! Remember to recycle all paper. One ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 4,100 kilowatt hours of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water. Recycling also eliminates 60 pounds of air pollutants created when making paper from virgin wood pulp.

Sat April 27 Field Trip Spavinaw Creek, Delaware County, for spring migrants. Meet 8 am Langley, OK, in Reasor's parking lot at junction of SH 82 & 28. Leader: Pat Seibert, 747-4202. Cell 798-1071.

Field Trip to Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
April 19-21

     The Wichita Mountains compose one of the oldest mountain ranges in the United States.  The granite and quartz peaks are strewn with weathered boulders in soft pink, gold, and blue tints.  The refuge was established as a game preserve in 1905 by President Theodore Roosevelt.  It is located 25 miles northwest of Lawton, OK and includes about 60,000 acres.  It is now one of the jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System.  The scenery is stunning.  In the spring, the mountainsides are blanketed by wildflowers.  In addition, the refuge features a herd of about 500 bison.  This herd is the result of one of the earliest efforts to save the bison from extinction.  The refuge is also home to a herd of purebred longhorn cattle.  A large prairie dog town is another popular feature.  The visitorís center holds many fascinating exhibits.

     Join Tulsa Audubon Society for a delightful overnight field trip.  We will be looking for spring migrants.  We will leave on Friday, April 19 and spend that night and Saturday night at a motel in Lawton.  For those who wish to drive down on Saturday, we will have cell phones to facilitate meeting at the refuge. For information call Gail Storey (742-2684) or Bill Foster (663-0973).

From the President
Tomye Ann Mainer

A committee has been appointed to make nominations for officers and directors whose terms are expiring. Committee members, Neely Lowry, Suzie Tramel, Aline Romero, and Donna Germany, will announce the nominees at the annual membership meeting on March 19. Nominations from the floor will also be accepted, with the approval of the person nominated.
In light of recent changes to the Audubon Chapter Policy, many specific provisions in our Bylaws have become obsolete or optional. An effort is underway to revise our Bylaws in accordance with National. Copies of the proposed revision will be available at our membership meeting on March 19.
I would like to say a special thank you to Aline Romero for serving our Chapter faithfully in so many capacities. She has resigned her position on the Sales Committee and as a leader of the Tuesday Morning Birders. Donna Germany and Mary Jackson will replace her on the Sales Committee. Elaine Renning has agreed to assist the committee as well as sell bird photographs. Appreciation is also expressed to Dody Nesbit on behalf of our Chapter for paying the eagle property taxes. These are just a few of the many capable volunteers whose contributions strengthen our Chapter. 

2002 Least Tern Breeding Survey
Bob Harwood, Least Tern Chairman

The 2002 least tern breeding survey of Zink Island in the Arkansas River will occur this year from early May to early August as it does each year. This year's survey is especially important because the least tern breeding on this island the past two years has not been very successful. The U.S. Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will remove the brush from Zink Island again this year, but this time they will take more aggressive steps to ensure that it does not grow back during the breeding season. Last year a new least tern breeding colony of appreciable size was noted at 71st Street by Kevin Stubbs of the Fish and Wildlife Service; this colony also will need to be monitored this season. The proposed new least tern island at 121st Street to be built by the Corps of Engineers plus the associated Tulsa city park to be constructed probably will not be ready for a couple of years. Those wishing to help in the breeding survey this year need binoculars, and at least one spotting scope for each of the day's teams is necessary. A sign up sheet for this year's survey will be passed around at the March and April Tulsa Audubon Society meetings. Please come and join us making the survey.


Perennial Gardening: call #80224, Sat, Mar 9, NE campus, 9am - 12

Perennial Gardening: call #80225, Tue, Apr 9, SE campus, 6-9 pm

Gardening In the Shade: call #80226, Mon, Apr 1, NE campus, 6-8 pm

Native Plants for the Garden: call #80230, Thurs, Apr 18, SE, 6-9 pm

Call today to register: 595-7236, 595-7736, 595-7536, 595-8136


It's March - think Bluebirds! - so, it's time to declare WAR on the House Sparrow. One of the best ways to do this is to NOT use mixed seed in your feeders; use only sunflower, thistle, suet, etc. House Sparrows love the mixed seed. It will attract them and they will find a house and then stay with that house, robbing other birds of a home, especially the lovely Bluebird.

Education and Outreach

Carolyn Mathews, Education Chairman, will present a Birding program for La Vine Assisted Living residents, 101 South Garnett, April 3.

In April, Dody Nesbit, Outreach Chairman, will present a series of programs called 'For the Birds' at the Community Center in Jenks.
Mar/Apr Scissortail


Three Audubon Camps will be held at Hunnington, VT, ages 10 to 18, $825 to $975. For information call toll free (887)752-2165, or e-mail <>

Laurel Upshaw

Those who remember Lois Rodgers, former newsletter editor and wildflower committee chairman for TAS, Christmas card information produced the following: Lois, a former WAC in WW II, was one of five veterans honored in October 2001 at her Senior Center in Louisiana - and the only woman. At age 81, she walks 2 miles a day in a nearby park, bowls 3 times a week, does water aerobics, and continues to lead a number of activity groups at her retirement home, where she also maintains a hummingbird garden. She is in training for the Louisiana State Senior Olympics Games held in October, entering events such as the Discus and Shot Put. She reported their Christmas Bird Count, held on Dec 15, totaled 63 Species, which reflects a rather low amount and a year of fewer birds than usual - like we have been reporting here. Her annual bird list last year was 200 species, also not 'up to par' according to Lois. We are pleased to learn that she is still a live-wire birder!

2001 CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT December 15, 2001
Jo Loyd, Compiler

Tulsa Audubon Society participated in the 102nd National Audubon Society annual Christmas Bird Count. Eleven teams with a total of fifty-four people spent the day in the count circle with the result of 99 species and 23,500 individual birds tallied. The rare bird of the day was the Black Scoter at the Skiatook Sewage Ponds. Fairly common American Coots and Northern Bobwhite were missing from the lists and sparrows were low in numbers. The following is the list of species and numbers of birds counted. A special thanks to the teams who helped make this a good count, also, to Gail and Glenn Storey for hosting the soup supper following the count. (Big Day Count is May 4th - plan now to participate.)

Common Loon, 5
Pied-billed Grebe, 22
Horned Grebe, 1
Double-crested Cormorant, 55
Great Blue Heron, 55
Canada Goose, 973
Wood Duck, 5
Gadwall, 544
American Wigeon, 6
Mallard, 857
Blue-winged Teal, 3
Northern Shoveler, 191
Green-winged Teal, 208
Canvasback, 1
Redhead, 2
Ring-necked Duck, 139
Greater, Scaup, 2
Lesser Scaup, 30
Black Scoter, 1
Bufflehead, 193
Hooded Merganser, 49
Red-breasted Merganser, 55
Ruddy Duck, 1
Osprey, 1
Bald Eagle, 4
Northern Harrier, 8
Sharp-shinned Hawk, 3
Cooper's Hawk, 3
Red-shouldered Hawk, 45
Red-tailed Hawk, 64
American Kestrel, 61
Prairie Falcon, 1
Killdeer, 68
Least Sandpiper, 50
Common Snipe, 2
Bonaparte's Gull, 394
Ring-billed Gull, 455
Rock Dove, 472
Mourning Dove, 135
Great Horned Owl, 6
Barred Owl, 4
Belted Kingfisher, 5
Red-headed Woodpecker, 135
Red-bellied Woodpecker, 56
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, 6
Downy Woodpecker, 108
Hairy Woodpecker, 10
Northern Flicker, 88
Pileated Woodpecker, 8
Eastern Phoebe, 1
Loggerhead Shrike, 13
Blue Jay 453
American Crow, 850
Horned Lark, 23
Carolina Chickadee, 277
Tufted Titmouse, 153
White-breasted Nuthatch, 26
Brown Creeper, 6
Carolina Wren, 24
Winter Wren, 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet, 8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 19
Eastern Bluebird, 144
Hermit Thrush,. 2
American Robin, 410
Northern Mockingbird, 131
Brown Thrasher, 6
European Starling, 4953
American Pipit, 37
Cedar Waxwing, 333
Yellow-rumped Warbler, 56
Spotted Towhee, 12
Eastern Towhee, 6
American Tree Sparrow, 3
Shipping Sparrow, 14
Field Sparrow, 19
Savannah, Sparrow, 22
Fox Sparrow, 10
Song Sparrow, 109
Lincoln's Sparrow, 15
Swamp Sparrow, 10
White-throated Sparrow, 203
Harris's Sparrow, 199
White-crowned Sparrow, 87
Dark-eyed Junco, 1058
Smith's Longspur, 95
Northern Cardinal, 312
Red-winged Blackbird, 4234
Eastern Meadowlark, 218
Western Meadowlark, 1
Rusty Blackbird, 21
Brewer's Blackbird, 78
Common Grackle, 942
Great-tailed Grackle, 318
Brown-headed Cowbird, 370
House Finch, 253
American Goldfinch, 203
House Sparrow, 1041

Amy Lambert, Recorder









Black Vulture




Keystone Area

TMB Leader: B. Germany


Lesser Black-backed Gull

First winter bird



Lynn Lane Reservoir

Jim Arterburn


Inca Dove





Bill Carrell


Swainson's Thrush

Normal date range 9/11 - 30 to 4/16 - 4



Oxley Nature Center (trailhead of Thrush Trail)

Gail Storey


Smith's Longspur




North Tulsa County

TMB Leader: J. Loyd


Shiny Cowbird




51st and Harvard area

Colin Davy


Purple Finch





Colin Davy


Pine Siskin





Lane Hammock


Pine Siskin




Oxley/NW Tulsa County

TMB Leader: A. Romero

Please do not use the the <> e-mail address.  E-mail reports directly to me at or call 272-4794 or Pat Seibert at 747-4202.

I will keep track of the records for Tulsa County Listers, but you need to let me know if you want to participate. How about a competition for yard bird listers? You will have to work hard to beat Elaine Renning, She reported 77 species last year! If you want to participate, contact me, and let me know the area of town you live in and REPORT! (In this case, you only report the highest number of a species seen at any one time during a day. Report the day with the highest number for each species during the month.)

Bill Carrell has reported 44 Species since 1/01/02. Tuesday Morning Birders, with leader Aline Romero, had 70 species on New Years Day. We have had reports from 12 individuals or groups since the first of the year, 301 total records.

This report covers 12/15/01 to 2/1/02. Remember, I need all of your sightings. Amy Lambert, Recorder


Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge Breeding Bird Survey May 10th and 24th, 2001
Gail Storey

In August, Tulsa Audubon Society received a check from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for $1500 for conducting a May Breeding Bird survey and the Winter Count the previous season. In our capacity as an Audubon Refuge Keeper, the TAS Board of Directors agreed to use this money to help with projects at the refuge as needed.

Members of the Tulsa Audubon Society agreed to conduct a breeding bird survey for the Deep Fork National Wildlife Refuge in Okmulgee, Oklahoma in May of 2001. Refuge staff members Darrin Unruh (Acting Manager) and Ron Price coordinated the count. Ric Kotarsky was contracted by the Refuge to set up the points and compile the data. Ric had worked on the refuge before as an intern and in other capacities. For this survey, a specific protocol was followed. Ric designated 52 points on the refuge and marked them with sticks. The sticks were painted orange on top and were numbered. At each point we were to note every bird seen or heard during a 10-minute time period. For each point, we were given a bulls-eye chart to record our results. The center of the bulls-eye was to represent the stick and the birds were to be marked in the appropriate directions from the center. We were given a list of abbreviations for the various species of birds. Sounds easy enough!

Our first day of the survey was May 10. At 6:30 that morning Bill Foster, Tommye Mainer, and David Edwards arrived at my house. We traveled together to the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Okmulgee. There we met Ric Kotarsky and Ron Price. Pat Seibert and Jo Loyd joined us there also. It was a beautiful morning. Ric gave us copies of the protocol, timers, and a bulls-eye chart for each point. We divided into two groups. Pat, Tommye, and Bill went with Ric. David, Jo, and I went with Ron. We had to travel in refuge vehicles because the roads are too bad for regular cars and because Ron and Ric were the only ones who could find the points.

My group easily reached our first point in a lovely forest clearing. Thanks to Jo's expert ear, we were able to record several species, most by sound. We drove deeper into the refuge, parked, and began walking to our next three points. We quickly realized just how thorough Ric had been in placing the points so as to cover the ENTIRE refuge. We also learned from Ron that Ric had been riding on an all-terrain vehicle when he placed the points! We walked for what seemed like miles, but eventually reached all three points in that area and recorded our data. Ron decided to take us on a short-cut back to the truck. Unfortunately, the short cut was through a forest consisting entirely of poison ivy-the trees were poison ivy, the shrubs were poison ivy, and the ground cover was poison ivy. After passing through the Poison Forest we entered a more open woods and picked up speed. Unfortunately, hidden in the leaf litter, was a strand of barbed wire from an old fence. Jo tripped over it and fell down. She was very brave and did not complain a bit. We arrived back at the truck. Later, Ron admitted that he had been just a little bit lost. We covered seven more points and returned to Wal-Mart about 1:00 where we met the other group.

They had their own little tale of woe. As they were traveling along, the truck got stuck in the mud. Fortunately, the truck is equipped with a winch for just such occasions. However, at that particular spot, there were no trees to attach the cable to. Bill had to wrap it around a big shrub that was covered with thorns. This procedure took about thirty minutes during which the truck would tilt precariously to one side or the other. But this intrepid band still managed to cover twelve points. Bill was admirably stoical about the cuts and dribbles of blood on his arms.

We headed back to Tulsa having covered almost one half of the points. In spite of a few problems, we had all enjoyed the beauty and seclusion of the refuge.

On May 24 we gathered again to complete the survey. Suzie Tramel, Bill Foster, Pat Seibert, Tommye Mainer, and Bob Germany arrived at my house at 6:30 a.m. Bob and Bill rode together and the 'girls' followed in my vehicle. Darrin Unruh, Ron Price, and Ric Kotarsky met us at Wal-Mart in Okmulgee. Jim Harman from Fort Gibson joined us. Jim does a lot to help at the Deep Fork and knows the refuge very well. Darrin told us that he is starting a Friends group for the refuge and would like interested members of Audubon to be a part of it.

It was a beautiful morning, surprisingly cool. After a little discussion, we divided into three groups. Bob, Tommye, and Pat went with Ric. Suzie went with Jim in his truck and Bill and I went with Ron. We divided the remaining posts. About mid-morning, my group walked to a post that was in pretty deep mud. Bill and I kept hearing a call that we couldn't identify. We followed it and the mud got deeper and deeper. Finally we were in water that came over the tops of our boots. After that we didn't worry about wet feet any more. We sorely missed Jo's good ear for sounds and we missed a lot of birds just because we couldn't identify the calls. I ran out of bulls-eye charts and had to draw my own, which were rather sad looking. Ron decided that we had better skip our last post because to reach it we would have to walk a short distance on the adjoining private property. The owner is pretty mean and is not above taking pot shots at trespassers. We finished a little early and decided to look for our fellow birders. At Post 31, we found Ric's group. They had been stuck in the mud again and had to winch out. We enjoyed a pretty view of the Deep Fork River and then went looking for Jim and Suzie. We found them near an old cemetery. We all joined together to cover their last point. We passed a very impressive beaver dam on the way. We returned to our cars, compared notes, and gave our data to Ric. Then it was time to head back to Tulsa. In spite of the mud and the poison ivy, we all loved our time at the Deep Fork. It has a wonderful variety of habitat. We are looking forward to the time when the roads and trails will be improved and maybe someday a visitors' center will provide a welcome. Gail Storey





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