The Norman Transcript

Community Sports

January 7, 2012

Bird counters unite The holiday season has become an important time for local birders

NORMAN — Early Sunday morning all across Norman and environs, sleepy birders were crawling out of the warm covers, grabbing a quick breakfast and heading out into the cold. It was the appointed day for this year’s annual Christmas Bird Count.

The team of Anais Starr, John Raeside, Brian Davis and Angie Holt and Dick Gunn met by the Green Gate on South Jenkins and headed down the South Canadian River looking for Bald Eagles. They were hard to come by this year-- as were many regular reliable winter birds—but the group was soon rewarded by a quick fly-by of the eagle. It was the only one seen by counters this year.

They then drove a nearby pastures looking for ducks on ponds and sparrows in the brush. It became obvious that the bird population dynamics were different this year. A lot of the birders had suspected that last summer’s drought, hellish high temperatures and a warm winter would impact the number and distribution of species and total numbers of birds to be found. But you can have suspicions about these ups and downs, but if the Christmas count does anything, it does confirm trends and fluctuations based against past year’s surveys.

Next, they walked the outlet creek that parallels Jenkins and again we were forced to scramble to find “the usual suspects.” The team managed to get several good birds. Tey found Greater White-fronted Geese, Brown Creepers, a Hermit Thrush, an American Pipit and a Golden-crowned Kinglet and in a stroke of extreme good luck Raeside and Starr found a Townsend’s Solitaire—a western bird seldom seen in Central Oklahoma near Cherry Creek along the river.

The group of bird counters had not been out there alone. There were 11 other bird count teams and a number of feeder watchers working across a circular territory that covers Norman all the way out to Thunderbird and Draper Lakes. After a long day, most of the participants came in from the cold and repaired to Jennifer’s Kidney’s small warm house redolent with the smells of one of her traditional, lush Christmas Count suppers to tally our results.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community Sports
  • community briefs

    Super seniors An Oklahoma City-based super-senior men’s US Tennis Association League tennis team (for players 60 and older) featuring members from Norman, Oklahoma City, Edmond, Enid and Tulsa, placed second at the National Championships, ...

    May 19, 2013

  • community briefs

    Hefting the hardware The Team Metro Weightlifting Club of Norman recently entered seven of their lifters in the Kansas Weightlifting Championships held in Olathe, Kansas....

    December 16, 2012

  • Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy trio going D-1

    Three gymnasts from Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman recenlty signed their National Letters of Intent to compete for Division I universities....

    November 25, 2012

  • Zuhdi in fight of his life

    Noah Zuhdi is on the verge of having the biggest fight of his career. The Oklahoma native will face German Jurado (12-2, 4 KOs) at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cox Convention Center. The boxing match for the WBU World Championship is being ...

    September 16, 2012

  • Miller wins national acclaim

    Zane Miller has been a busy kid. While many other boys and girls his age spent their summer lounging around and playing video games, the 9-year-old from Earlywine Elementary was busy winning national competitions....

    September 16, 2012

  • Hitachi to host 5K walk/run for CCFI

    Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. is hosting a 5K run/walk Saturday, Sept. 15 in Norman with proceeds to benefit the Center for Children and Families, Inc. (CCFI). The theme of the event, “Run for the Next Generation,” recognizes ...

    August 26, 2012

  • briefs

    Women’s Golf Clinic Back by popular demand is the Westwood Women’s Fall Golf Clinic . The Spring clinic is a five-week program and will again be taught by PGA professionals David Lisle and Robert O. Smith; Amber Leoffelholtz, LPGA and ...

    August 26, 2012

  • Registration opens for Brookhaven Run

    The organizers of the 27th Annual Brookhaven Run are going big this year. The event, which will be Sept. 1, will award the largest prize money purse in the state this year with a total of $6,000 being handed out....

    August 19, 2012

  • Promoting junior golf

    To promote junior golf at all levels, the powers that be at Norman’s four golf courses — Westwood Park, The Trails, Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club and Belmar Golf Club — have come together to form the Norman Junior Golf Association. In ...

    August 12, 2012

  • Young track star is taking her talents to Pennsylvania

    It’s not everyday that a nine-year old gets a chance to showcase his or her running ability against the best young sprinters in the country. After winning the 100-meter dash in the Hershey Track and Field Games Oklahoma State Qualifier, ...

    July 29, 2012