NW Oklahoma Field Trips

Click these links for more information on the Lesser Prairie-Chicken viewing, Greater Prairie-Chicken viewing, the Black Mesa trip, and the Wichita Mountains/Hackberry Flat trip or select their individual pages from the menu

Trek Descriptions

Difficulty Levels  1: Easy walking, no hills   2. A little more vigorous   3. More demanding physically, steeper grades
Call 918-809-6325 for any specific questions about trek difficulties

Harper/Woodward County Birding Trek

Birding the Salt Flats on the Selman Ranch

A full-day devoted to the hot spots of Harper and Woodward Counties in northwestern Oklahoma. Stops will include Boiling Springs State Park, a wonderful hotspot for migrants and many other species. This is a scenic location with clear running springs and ancient cottonwood trees. Other stops include a privately owned spring-fed pond that, during even the driest years, holds water, a sure location for many species of shorebirds and waterfowl. Nearby playa lakes, – a critically imperiled form of wetland in the short/mixed grass prairie – provides a resting place for many birds which may include the White-faced Ibis, Back-necked Stilts and other waterbirds. These playas provide us a place of wonderment that any observer will appreciate. Another stop is the Selman Ranch Important Bird Area. One of Oklahoma’s most important privately owned locations for wildlife, the ranch contains a vast array of habitats and always provides a multitude of species, including Lesser Prairie-Chickens, Snowy Plovers, Rock Wrens, various prairie songbirds, and a whole gamut of other species. The Selman Ranch will impress any visitor, if not for the scenery alone! See http://bit.ly/tas-selman. Difficulty: 2.

This trek includes bus transportation and a box lunch.

Prairie Dog Town Birding Trek

Walking to Prairie Dog town

This will be a more leisurely morning of birding than the County Bird Treks. We will stop at a Prairie Dog town to observe their interesting behavior and the variety of associated wildlife, including Burrowing Owls. We will visit other area habitats, including some playa lakes and Fort Supply Lake. Difficulty: 2

Bat & Owl Prowl, Moth Black Lighting

Alabaster Caverns is just a few miles east of the Selman Living Lab, our location for Sunday dinner. We will meet bat expert Dr. Bill Caire who will be mist netting bats exiting the Cavern.  Possible owl sightings of Great Horned, Eastern Screech or Barred. Weather permitting, a moth black lighting station will attract any moth or other insect in the area for up-close viewing.  Difficulty: 2.

Observatory at the Selman Living Lab

Stargazing at Selman Living Lab

After dinner at the Selman Living Lab, Join an Astronomer for stargazing using the telescope at the Lab, taking advantage of the truly dark skies in this isolated area of Oklahoma. If the weather is not clear, participants can alternately join that evening’s Owl Prowl. Difficulty: 1

Salt Plains NWR Trek

The Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is located in north-central Oklahoma, about 1 3/4 hours east of Woodward. At 10,000 acres the refuge includes the largest saline flat in the central lowlands of North America, with another 32,000 acres of open water, wetlands, prairies, woodlands and farm fields. This diversity of habitat, accounts for an abundance and variety of birds including American White Pelican, White-faced Ibis, American Avocet, Tricolored Heron, Franklin’s Gulls, Forster’s Tern, numerous plovers, sandpipers and waterbirds. Click here for more info on the Salt Plains from the Tulsa Audubon Guide to Birding in Oklahoma. Trek will return in time for dinner at the Selman Living Lab. Difficulty: 1.

This trek includes bus transportation as well as a box lunch.

 

 

 

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