Birds of Oklahoma

From the scissortail flycatcher to the domesticated chicken, from the ruby throated hummingbird to the Canada goose, Oklahoma plays host to many beautiful birds. We have the palliated woodpeckers, sparrows, wrens, goldfinches and mourning doves, bald eagle, and the red-tailed hawk.

We hear the great horned owl, the screech owl, and the barred owls of an evening. We watch for flocks of brown-headed cowbirds in the fall to sweep and swirl above the pastures. We see the beautiful snowy egrets in the pastures too eating the flies that cows whip with their tails. Crows lord it over the orchard waiting for pecans. Grackles and starlings whistle in the grocery store parking lots.

We listen to the plaintive rain crow the cuckoo and mourning doves. We watch house wrens and barn swallows build nests under our porch roofs. We see ducks of all sorts floating in our farm ponds and geese in the parks come for bread.

Hummers fight at our feeders. Brown creepers clean insects from the bark of our sycamore trees. Martins eat up gnats and mosquitoes. Kingfishers and night hawks do their part. Goldfinches in their bright yellow feathers feast on dandelions. Bluebirds build nests in our boxes. Cardinals brighten our winter days. House finches add a touch of rose. Mockingbirds are the music stars imitating all the others.

Wild turkeys stalk in parade lines across the meadow. Guinea hens babble and run helter-skelter when a car passes. Road runners and killdeer like the gravel roads. Carolina chickadees and sparrows of every ilk come to the feeders for millet and sunflower seeds. Juncos are tiny roly-poly black sparrows. Others and striped and brown.

A Copper’s hawk wheels above. Turkey buzzards patrol for carrion. Robins hop, hop, hop across the lawn in spring. Red-winged blackbirds come to the feeders in the fall. They make a “too- de-lee” sound like water dripping into a bucket.

A heat blue heron or a white heron stalks through water of shallow ponds and hunts for supper. When they fly their great wings spread and their long legs trail out behind them. A northern flicker feasts on the apple tree wood. Red headed, downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers come here too.

A nuthatch in a neat swanky blue and black band uniform searches for bugs on tree bark.Tanagers and orioles prefer the quieter places in the woods away from people and traffic.

My favorite in the meadowlark who sits the barbed wire fence and sings. He’s a large beautiful bird with a yellow chest and a dark black V on its neck like a choir robe stole.Blue jays liven the terrain with their color. So the Eastern blue bird and the indigo and painted buntings.

There is almost no end to the list of bright and beautiful birds found in the state of Oklahoma. Birdwatching is a great pastime on the farm and one I enjoy everyday.

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