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Memorial Park Cemetery
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 was reviewed and updated to ensure accuracy in 2007.

This large cemetery is located at the southeastern corner of the intersection of 51st St, South and Memorial Drive in Tulsa. From Highways I-44, I-244 or Broken Arrow Expressway exit at Memorial Drive a go south to 51st St. Enter at Main gate just east of Memorial, or a second gate about a quarter mile further east. The best route for birding is to drive the entire perimeter of the cemetery by staying to the right at all intersections.

The cemetery has many large trees, both deciduous and evergreen. Two small streams flow through the western section and are lined with large trees and low brush which provide excellent habitat for resident and migrant birds. A walk along the streams will usually yield Brown Thrashers, Catbirds, Carolina Wrens, sparrows and woodpeckers in summer. In winter the brush is filled with Dark-eyed Juncos and White-Throated, White-crowned, Harris's and Song Sparrows. Yellow-rumped Warblers are usually present. In spring migration many warblers use this same area. At the east end of the wooded portion of the cemetery is a lake where Mute Swans and same tame geese and ducks are kept. This also attracts many migratory waterfowl in the winter and spring. Redhead, gadwall, Canvasback, Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Mallard and bufflehead ducks and Green-winged and Blue-winged teal have been recorded. Pied-billed and Horned Grebes are also frequent visitors. A Green-backed Heron is often seen in summer. In the open areas Mockingbirds, Robins, and Killdeer are common. Flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds, blackbirds, and Common Grackles arrive in the spring. Upland Sandpipers and Horned Larks have also been found in the newly developed open area at the far eastern end of the cemetery. 

A hedge of cedars just east and south of the lake is an excellent place to find Bobwhite, Kestrel, Loggerhead Shrike, and Cedar Waxwing. Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned kinglets also use these trees.

A Red-tailed Hawk nests someplace in or near the cemetery and flies over it regularly. A Great Horned Owl also nests here. One year the nest was in a large pine tree on lot 36 on a low branch where many people watched as the young hatched and grew their flight feathers.

Birders are welcome during the hours the cemetery is open. This varies with the season but generally is from 8:00 a.m. until sunset. Check the sign on the gate as you enter.

Elizabeth Hayes???



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




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