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Bird Checklists of the United States

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Indiahoma, Oklahoma


The refuge includes 59,020 acres located in Comanche County in the southwestern part of Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains are remnants of a mountain range that was formed more than 500 million years ago and subsequent erosion has resulted in the exposure of the granite and gabbro core. These mountains rise abruptly from the relatively flat surrounding plains, with several peaks on the refuge exceeding 2000 feet above sea level, interspersed with valleys and prairie grasslands.

The climate is temperate, with generally mild temperatures and modest rainfall. Temperature extremes vary from -16°F to 117°F with and average annual temperature of 61°F. Average annual rainfall is about 30 inches, with spring and fall seasons receiving the most rain.

The refuge lies at the vegetational crossroads of the plains country. Excellent examples of mixed grass prairie, oak woodlands, and riparian areas are found here. Historically, most streams on the refuge were intermittent, flowing only after periods of heavy rain. Permanent water was established during the 1930's when the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed dams on 20 streams to supplement the few natural ponds and springs of the area.

Although the refuge is managed primarily for big game such as bison and elk, the lakes, woodlands, prairies, and rocky outcroppings found here provide habitat for a wide variety of bird species. The midcontinent location of the Wichita Mountains is a natural transition zone for eastern and western birds, including resident and migrant species. The greatest variety of species occurs during spring and fall migration periods.

This list of 278 species is in accordance with the sixh addition of the American Ornithologists' Union Checklist of North American Birds and its supplements. Those species marked with and asterisk(*) have nested on the refuge. Species that occur as accidentals (marked with an "X") may occur more regularly in areas SUrrounding the refuge, but most are true geograhpic rarities. Seasons and occurrences for bird sightings on the refuge are coded below. Note that seasons vary from species to species; fall migration for some, SUch as shorebirds and flycatchers, is much earlier (mid-July to mid-September) compared to fall migration for other species, such as most waterfowl and sparrows (September to November).

A - Abundant: a common and numerous species

U - Uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
O - Occasional: seen only a few times during a season
R - Rare: seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
X - Accidental: has ben seen only once or twice

SP - Spring - period of spring migration (depending on species) from mid-February to early Jume
SU - Summer - June to August
F - Fall - period of fall migration (depending on species) from mid-July to November
W - Winter - December to February


Loons SP SU F W ___ Common Loon R - O R
Grebes SP SU F W ___ *Pied-billed Grebe C U C C ___ Horned Grebe U - U R ___ Eared Grebe U - U -
Pelicans SP SU F W ___ American White Pelican R - R -
Cormorants SP SU F W ___ Double-crested Cormorant U - U O
Bitterns and Herons SP SU F W ___ American Bittern - X R - ___ *Least Bittern - R - - ___ *Great Blue Heron C C C C ___ Great Egret U U U - ___ Snowy Egret R R - - ___ Little Blue Heron O O O - ___ Cattle Egret O O O - ___ *Green Heron U U O - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron R R R - ___ Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - X - -
Ibises SP SU F W ___ White-faced Ibis R - O -
Swans, Geese, & Ducks SP SU F W ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose R - R R ___ Snow Goose R - R - ___ Canada Goose C C C C ___ Wood Duck* C C C O ___ Green-winged Teal C - C C ___ American Black Duck - - X - ___ Mallard* C U C C ___ Northern Pintail U - C C ___ Blue-winged Teal* C R C X ___ Cinnamon Teal R - X - ___ Northern Shoveler C - C O ___ Gadwall C - C C ___ American Wigeon C - C C ___ Eurasian Wigeon X - - X ___ Canvasback U - U U ___ Redhead U X U U ___ Ring-necked Duck C - C C ___ Greater Scaup R - R - ___ Lesser Scaup U - U U ___ Oldsquaw - - X X ___ Common Goldeneye U - U U ___ Bufflehead U - U U ___ Hooded Merganser U - U U ___ Common Merganser R - R U ___ Red-breasted Merganser X - - X ___ Ruddy Duck U - U U
American Vultures SP SU F W ___ *Turkey Vulture A A A R
Kites, Eagles, & Hawks SP SU F W ___ Osprey O - O - ___ *Mississippi Kite C C C - ___ Bald Eagle - - U U ___ Northern Harrier U X U U ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk U - U U ___ *Cooper's Hawk U O U U ___ Northern Goshawk - - - X ___ Red-shouldered Hawk O O O O ___ Broad-winged Hawk O R R - ___ Gray Hawk X - - - ___ Swainson's Hawk O R O - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* C C C C ___ Ferruginous Hawk - - R R ___ Rough-legged Hawk - - U U ___ Golden Eagle - - U U
Falcons SP SU F W ___ *American Kestrel U R U U ___ Merlin - - R R ___ Peregrine Falcon R - R R ___ Prairie Falcon - - R U
Turkeys and Quails SP SU F W ___ *Wild Turkey C C C C ___ *Northern Bobwhite C C C C
Rails and Coots SP SU F W ___ Sora R - R X ___ *American Coot C O C C
Cranes SP SU F W ___ Sandhill Crane O - O -
Plovers SP SU F W ___ Black-bellied Plover - - X - ___ Semipalmated Plover R - R - ___ *Killdeer C C C O
Stilts and Avocets SP SU F W ___ American Avocet o o o -
Sandpipers and Phalaropes SP SU F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs O - O - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs O - O - ___ Solitary Sandpiper O - O - ___ Willet O - R - ___ Spotted Sandpiper U - O - ___ Upland Sandpiper U - U - ___ Whimbrel X - - - ___ Long-billed Curlew R - R - ___ Marbled Godwit X - - - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper R - - - ___ Western Sandpiper R - O - ___ Least Sandpiper U - U O ___ White-rumped Sandpiper O - - - ___ Baird's Sandpiper U - O - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper U - O - ___ Stilt Sandpiper - - R - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher U - U X ___ Common Snipe U - U O ___ American Woodcock O - O O ___ Wilson's Phalarope O - R -
Gulls and Terns SP SU F W ___ Franklin's Gull U - O - ___ Bonaparte's Gull - - R R ___ Ring-billed Gull U - U U ___ Herring Gull - - R R ___ Forster's Tern O - O - ___ Black Tern O - O -
Doves SP SU F W ___ *Rock Dove O O O O ___ White-winged Dove - X - - ___ *Mourning Dove A A A O ___ Inca Dove X - - X
Cuckoos and Roadrunners SP SU F W ___ *Yellow-billed Cuckoo C C O - ___ Black-billed Cuckoo X - - - ___ *Greater Roadrunner U U U U
Barn Owls SP SU F W ___ Barn Owl R R R R
Typical Owls SP SU F W ___ *Eastern Screech-Owl C C C C ___ *Great Horned Owl C C C C ___ Burrowing Owl R - R - ___ *Barred Owl U U U U ___ Long-eared Owl - - - R ___ Short-eared Owl - - - R
Goatsuckers SP SU F W ___ *Common Nighthawk C C C - ___ *Common Poorwill U U O - ___ *Chuck-will's-widow C C X -
Swifts SP SU F W ___ *Chimney Swift U U O - ___ White-throated Swift X - - -
Hummingbirds SP SU F W ___ Ruby-throated Hummingbird U O R - ___ *Black-chinned Hummingbird C C R -
Kingfishers SP SU F W ___ *Belted Kingfisher U U U U
Woodpeckers SP SU F W ___ Lewis' Woodpecker X - X X ___ *Red-headed Woodpecker U U U U ___ Acorn Woodpecker X - - X ___ Golden-fronted Woodpecker X - X - ___ *Red-bellied Woodpecker C C C C ___ Yellow-bellied Sapsucker O - U U ___ Ladder-backed Woodpecker R R R R ___ *Downy Woodpecker U U C C ___ *Hairy Woodpecker C C C C ___ Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) C O C C ___ Northern Flicker (Red-shafted) C - C C ___ Pileated Woodpecker R R R R
Tyrant Flycatchers SP SU F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher R - R - ___ Western Wood-Pewee X - - - ___ *Eastern Wood-Pewee O O O - ___ Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - - R - ___ Acadian Flycatcher - X - - ___ Alder Flycatcher - - O - ___ Willow Flycatcher - - O - ___ Least Flycatcher U - U - ___ *Eastern Phoebe C C C O ___ Ash-throated Flycatcher X X - - ___ *Great Crested Flycatcher C A U - ___ *Western Kingbird U U R - ___ Eastern Kingbird U U R - ___ *Scissor-tailed Flycatcher C C C -
Larks SP SU F W ___ *Horned Lark O R U U
Swallows SP SU F W ___ Purple Martin - R - - ___ *Northern Rough-winged Swallow U O O - ___ Bank Swallow X - - - ___ *Cliff Swallow O O O - ___ *Barn Swallow C C C -
Jays and Crows SP SU F W ___ *Blue Jay A C C C ___ Pinyon Jay - - X X ___ Clark's Nutcracker - - X X ___ *American Crow A U A A
Chickadees and Titmice SP SU F W ___ *Carolina Chickadee A A A A ___ *Tufted Titmouse A A A A ___ Bushtit - X - X
Nuthatches SP SU F W ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch O - O O ___ *White-breasted Nuthatch U U U U
Creepers SP SU F W ___ Brown Creeper U - U U
Wrens SP SU F W ___ *Rock Wren U U U U ___ *Canyon Wren U U U U ___ *Carolina Wren R R R R ___ *Bewick's Wren R R R R ___ House Wren U - U R ___ Winter Wren - - - R
Kinglets and Gnatcatchers SP SU F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet U - U U ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet C - U U ___ *Blue-gray Gnatcatcher C C C -
Thrushes SP SU F W ___ *Eastern Bluebird C C A C ___ Mountain Bluebird R - U U ___ Townsend's Solitaire R - O O ___ Swainson's Thrush U - - X ___ Hermit Thrush O - O O ___ Wood Thrush X X - - ___ *American Robin U U A A
Mockingbirds and Thrashers SP SU F W ___ Gray Catbird R - R - ___ *Northern Mockingbird U U U U ___ Sage Thrasher - - - X ___ *Brown Thrasher U U U O ___ Curve-billed Thrasher - - X X
Pipits SP SU F W ___ American Pipit R - R R ___ Sprague's Pipit - - O -
Waxwings SP SU F W ___ Cedar Waxwing C - U A
Shrikes SP SU F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike U O U U
Starlings SP SU F W ___ *European Starling U U C C
Vireos SP SU F W ___ *White-eyed Vireo O O - - ___ Bell's Vireo R - - - ___ *Black-capped Vireo U U U - ___ Solitary Vireo O - R - ___ Warbling Vireo R - - - ___ *Red-eyed Vireo U U O -
Wood Warblers SP SU F W ___ Blue-winged Warbler X - - - ___ Golden-winged Warbler - - X - ___ Tennessee Warbler O - R - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler C - C R ___ Nashville Warbler C - U - ___ Northern Parula X - - - ___ Yellow Warbler U - U - ___ Chestnut-sided Warbler - - X - ___ Magnolia Warbler R - R - ___ Black-throated Blue Warbler X - X - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) A - C C ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) R - R - ___ Black-throated Green Warbler O X R - ___ *Blackburnian Warbler X - - - ___ Ray-breasted Warbler X - - - ___ Blackpoll Warbler R - - - ___ Cerulean Warbler X - - - ___ *Black and White Warbler C C U - ___ American Redstart O - O - ___ Swainson's Warbler X - - - ___ Ovenbird R - - - ___ Northern Waterthrush R - R - ___ *Louisiana Waterthrush U U O - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler X - - - ___ Common Yellowthroat O - R R ___ Hooded Warbler - X - - ___ Wilson's Warbler U - U - ___ Canada Warbler X - X - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat R - - -
Tanagers SP SU F W ___ *Summer Tanager U U U - ___ Western Tanager R - - -
Grosbeaks and Cardinals SP SU F W ___ *Northern Cardinal A A A A ___ Rose-breasted Grosbeak X - - - ___ Black-headed Grosbeak R - - - ___ *Blue Grosbeak U U - - ___ Lazuli Bunting O R - - ___ *Indigo Bunting U U U - ___ *Painted Bunting C C U - ___ *Dickcissel U U O -
Sparrows SP SU F W ___ Green-tailed Towhee X - X - ___ Eastern Towhee X - - X ___ Spotted Towhee C - C C ___ *Rufous-crowned Sparrow A A C U ___ American Tree Sparrow O - U C ___ *Chipping Sparrow A U C O ___ Clay-colored Sparrow C - U - ___ *Field Sparrow U O U C ___ Vesper Sparrow U - U R ___ *Lark Sparrow C C C - ___ Lark Bunting C - - X ___ Savannah Sparrow C - C U ___ *Grasshopper Sparrow C C U X ___ Le Conte's Sparrow O - U U ___ Fox Sparrow - - O O ___ Song Sparrow C - C C ___ Lincoln's Sparrow U - U O ___ Swamp Sparrow - - - X ___ White-throated Sparrow R - O O ___ White-crowned Sparrow U - U U ___ Harris' Sparrow U - U U ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) U - C C ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) O - U U ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Pink-sided) O - U U ___ Dark-eyed Junco (Grey-headed) - - X X ___ Lapland Longspur - - R R ___ Chestnut-collared Longspur U - C C
Blackbirds and Orioles SP SU F W ___ *Red-winged Blackbird C U C C ___ *Eastern Meadowlark A A A A ___ Western Meadowlark U R U U ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird U - O - ___ Rusty Blackbird R - R R ___ Brewer's Blackbird C - C U ___ Great-tailed Grackle - O - - ___ *Common Grackle C C C O ___ Shiny Cowbird - X - - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* A A A U ___ Orchard Oriole O - R - ___ Baltimore Oriole (also hybrids) - O - - ___ Bullock's Oriole (primarily hybrids) - R - -
Finches SP SU F W ___ Purple Finch R - R O ___ Cassin's Finch - - - X ___ House Finch R R - R ___ Red Crossbill - - X X ___ Pine Siskin C R O U ___ Lesser Goldfinch X R R X ___ American Goldfinch C O U C
Old World Sparrows SP SU F W ___ *House Sparrow U U U U
For additional information contact:
                         Refuge Manager
                         Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
                         Route 1, P.O. Box 448
                         Indiahoma, Oklahoma 73552
                         Telephone: 405/429-3221/3222
This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1997.  Birds of Wichita Mountains Wildlife 
     Refuge, Oklahoma.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1997.  Birds of Wichita Mountains Wildlife      
     Refuge, Oklahoma.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.govwichita.htm 
     (Version 22MAY98).

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