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A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma

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Introduction to On-line Edition by John Kennington

As some of you older-timers may know (I guess I now qualify as an "old-timer"!) Tulsa Audubon has in the past published A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma. The first edition was published in 1973, edited by Lois Rodgers, and a second edition in 1986, edited by Elizabeth Hayes. Both are now out of print. They not only covered Tulsa, but the entire state. Each was a collaborative effort of many birders throughout the state, a veritable who's who of Oklahoma birding and ornithology of those past decades. If you've been birding in Oklahoma any length of time, read through the acknowledgement pages of the first and second editions for a trip down memory lane! And be sure to read the Foreword to the first edition written by George Miksch Sutton.

It was the only statewide birding guide ever published.

Several years ago the TAS board was discussing if we should issue a new edition, but understandably no one wanted to take on the effort. But we eventually did decide to make the information from the old guide available on our web site. So I slowly began scanning in and digitizing the accounts. And now, several years and hundreds of hours later, the project has grown beyond all reason, but is finally almost finished! That is the beauty of an on-line guide - it can be continually updated, so it will never be truly "finished."

TAS may again publish a revised edition, but for now have decided to make the information available here on our web site. The core of the site is the 1986 area accounts. Most include the original maps drawn by Byron Ball, and these have been supplemented with the latest mapping technologies, particularly Google Maps, Google Earth, MSN Maps, Microsoft Streets and Trips and Delorme Street Atlas. I found situations where each was the most appropriate tool to use.

I updated as many of the accounts as I was able, but there are many places I have never been to, or it has been years since I last visited. At the top of each account I have indicated when the last update was made, and many are simply the original 1986 account. I have asked a number of birders around the state to review these accounts, and over the next several months hope to bring most of these current to reflect the situation in 2007.

I also added a number of accounts for places like Red Slough, Hackberry Flat, etc.  that did not exist or were not known about 20 years ago. For these I generally culled information from other web sites (USFWS, The Nature Conservancy, etc.) or from OKBirds, to create the accounts. However, please note that most of these "new" areas do not yet have much information specific to bird finding. I have again asked a number of birders around the state to contribute areas accounts of these areas that focus on the bird life.

But not all areas have someone "assigned" to update them! So please look at your favorite birding areas and if it is out of date, please send me some updates. Or if you are traveling to a remote area, please consider checking with me to see if the area needs to be reviewed and updated.

I hope birders around Oklahoma will continue to contribute updates to these accounts, providing both local and visiting birders an important resource in planning their birding activities. With the Internet we can have a truly up-to-date guide that will not go out of print.

Any accounts I get, photographs or other significant input, will be credited to the author. And by the way, if you happen to know who wrote any of the 1973/1986 accounts (or if it was you) please let me know and I'll add a credit line. I don't have the original material from 1973 or 1986, so I don't know who wrote most of the accounts.

Being recently digitized and updated, there are undoubtedly many errors, bad links, typos, incorrect mileages, etc. Please email me any corrections, updates or additions.

If you know of an area not included that you think should, let me know. Or better yet, volunteer to write up a description!

What really got me motivated to finish this project was the recently added ability to add personalized placemarkers to Google Maps and Google Earth, and then make those public. If you have high speed Internet, you just have to try this in Google Earth. It is really cool!!!

Thank you! And please send me any feedback you might have!

John Kennington,
Editor, Online Edition


About Updates

If you would like to make a contribution of a new account or an update, I will take whatever you are willing to do. If you want to do a complete write-up, great. But I would also love to get your notes on locations and birds, and I can put it together as an account. All contributions will be welcome!

There is no specific style or format for the area accounts. The existing accounts vary quite a bit, so do whatever makes sense to you. But in general, the stuff to cover is an overview, perhaps a bit about vegetation, geology, etc.; how to get there; what interesting birds are present; and where, when and how to see the birds.




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Copyright 2013 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: October 15, 2018




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