Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Birds of McCurtain County, Oklahoma, Including the Endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker

                                                                         Tree Swallow

                                                                    Carolina Wren

                                                                  Great-tailed Grackle

                                                               Prothonotary Warbler

                                                                       King Rail

                                                              Brown-headed Nuthatch

                                                              Broad-winged Hawk

                                                             Yellow-breasted Chat

                                                                       White Ibis

                                                            Red-cockaded Woodpecker

                                                                American Alligator

                                                                      Tree Swallow

May 6 through May 10, 2016

These birds and the American alligator all hail from McCurtain County, Oklahoma, which is
in the southeast part of the state, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Arkansas border.  This trip
had very strong possibilities for two of some of the rarest birds of the state, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and Swainson's Warbler, both of which were seen.  However, I have no photo of the warbler.  I do hope to redeem myself with the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, which is rare all over the country, as well as an endangered species.

Also included in this package, is the King Rail, which is uncommon and local in the southern states.  Even more rarely, it will go quite far north, mostly in the central part of the country and the northeast

McCurtain County also hosts a fairly sizable and diverse warbler population, though a good part of it is just temporary.  Most of these warblers were observed at Red Slough, as well as a few in Little River, most notably of course, the Swainson's Warbler.

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker was located in the McCurtain County Wilderness Area, and my knowledge on this bird was increased by being in the field with it as well as having excellent instruction through the Oklahoma Forestry Service, namely Clay Barnes, who I definitely hope to see
again, and gain additional knowledge through the state and the national wildlife refuges, all who do
a superb job in keeping our wildlife thriving.  I have seen naked nestling Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, as well as the eggs.

This is an experience that I will not soon forget, and I hope that you also enjoy what is here as seen through my eyes.