Red Slough Birding Tour

On the Red Slough tour, you will visit numerous habitats including emergent wetlands, mudflats, reservoirs, scrub/shrub, and willow tree rows.  It is not unusual to
see over 100 species of birds in a day during the month of May.  Expected birds of interest include:  Purple and Common Gallinule, King Rail, Sora, American &
Least Bitterns, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, White Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Hudsonian Godwit, Black-necked Stilt, Least Tern, Bell’
s Vireo, Marsh & Sedge Wrens, Prothonotary Warbler, Painted Bunting, and Bobolink.   Other birds of interest that might be spotted include:  Mottled Duck,
Glossy Ibis, Virginia Rail, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.  American Alligators are often seen on this tour as well as numerous wildflowers such as Alligator Flag,
Obedient Plant, Spider Lily, and Blue Flag Iris.  Bird viewing will be done from levee roads and observation platforms.

Bring rubber boots as the grass on the levees in the mornings is usually wet.  Walking approximately one mile around Bittern Lake normally occurs on this tour.  
Spotting scopes may come in handy but are not necessary as the guides will have them.  Bring your cameras
!
Tour Information
Visit the Red Slough Website:   http://fs.usda.gov/goto/ouachita/redslough
Visit the Red Slough WMA Pictures:  http://www.pbase.com/red_slough_wma
Prairie Wildflowers

The wildflower walk is conducted on a
prairie near the Idabel airport.  Access to
the prairie is immediately adjacent to a main
highway which makes the walk easy for all
physical conditions.  You may be walking
through tall grass, so you may want to wear
boots and carry bug spray.  With no shade
existing, it can get hot on the open prairie
and a hat and water may be considerations
for you.  

Over 50 species of wildflowers have been
documented on the prairie.  Some of the
more colorful ones you will see include blue
false indigo, Indian paintbrush, larkspur,
Topeka Purple coneflower, barbara’s
buttons, celestial lily, purple beard tongue,
and widow’s cross.
Champion Tree Tour

The champion tree tour visits several Oklahoma record trees as determined by the
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Forestry Services.  Idabel has the largest number
of record trees in the state.  Post oak, willow oak, shumard oak, red maple and others
will be seen.  A trip to Little River National Wildlife Refuge will view bald cypress, sugar
maple, cherrybark oak, sugarberry and sweet leaf.  The opportunity for a faunal
experience always exists as we look at some of the giants and unique areas of the floral
world.  We will walk to the trees where it is possible and access allows.
Red-cockaded
Woodpecker
Bald Cypress
Cherrybark Oak
Red Saddlebags
Lilypad Forktail
Variegated Meadowhawk
Royal River Cruiser
Slender
Spreadwing
Photo Galleries
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Prothonotary Warbler
Black-necked Stilt
McCurtain County Wilderness Area

The McCurtain County Wilderness Area (MCWA),
managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation, is the largest block of virgin shortleaf
pine forest in Oklahoma.  It is also the primary
location within the state for the endangered red-
cockaded woodpecker (RCW).  On this tour, you will
learn about shortleaf pine/bluestem restoration
projects and RCW management within the MCWA
and adjacent Ouachita National Forest and see a
demonstration of tree climbing for RCW
management.  This tour is geared more towards
viewing the habitat and understanding management
principles than walking and looking for birds.  You will
visit an active RCW cluster and the chances of
viewing a bird are good, especially if young are in the
nesting cavity and the parents are in feeding mode.  
Other birds you may encounter on this tour include
scarlet tanager, summer tanager, red-headed
woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, pine warbler,
Kentucky warbler, black-and-white warbler, yellow-
throated warbler, indigo bunting, brown-headed
nuthatch, bachman’s sparrow, yellow-throated vireo,
red-eyed vireo, eastern wood pewee, and great-
crested flycatcher.

Over 80 species of Odonates (dragonflies & damselflies) have been documented at Red
Slough.  On the Odonate tour, we will visit a variety of habitats to maximize the number of
species found.  We will look for the secretive spreadwings in their shaded woodland abodes
and for the tiny Southern Sprites around Teal Lake, one of only two known locations for this
species in Oklahoma.  We will look for the Swamp Darner, Oklahoma’s largest dragonfly.  
There’s also a good chance of seeing the Stillwater Clubtail and the Ebony Jewelwing.  A
good variety of the King Skimmer species are always present.  A host of other common
species will be encountered as well.  A good amount of walking is required for this tour as
searching for dragonflies is done on foot rather than by vehicle.
American Avocet
Anhinga
Common Gallinule
Sedge Wren
Least Tern
White Ibis
Black-Crowned
Night-Heron
Little River National Wildlife         
Refuge Birding Tour

The star of this birding tour is the Swainson's
Warbler. Dr. Mia Revels has studied this species on
the Little River National Wildlife Refuge for the past
13 years and is a leading expert on their territory
locations, behavior, breeding biology and nesting
behavior.  Most importantly, this trip has never failed
to "produce" a Swainson's Warbler for the viewing
pleasure (and listing status) of the tour groups.  In
addition to the Swainson's Warbler, you will very
likely get Hooded Warblers, Kentucky Warblers,
Black-and-white Warblers, Pine Warblers,
Prothonotary Warblers, Yellow-throated Warblers,
Prairie Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, and
Yellow-breasted Chats.  These are just the
residents, and, depending on local conditions, there
is no telling which migratory warbler species might
be present!  Dr. Revels likes to refer to the refuge as
"Warblerville"!  You are also very likely to encounter
Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Yellow-throated
Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, White-eyed Vireos, Wood
Thrushes and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.  Wading
birds of many types are likely including: Great Egret,
Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Green Heron, Great
Blue Heron, American Bittern and Yellow-crowned
Night Heron.  You almost always see Anhingas and
several duck species.  The refuge is at its loveliest
in early spring, with the Spider Lilies and Swamp
Irises in bloom.  It is still usually relatively cool and
pleasant for an amazing birding event!
American Bittern
Anhinga
Least Bittern
Purple Paintbrush
White Ibis and Snowy Egret
Blue-Baptisia
Penstemon-Cobea
Prairie-Celestial
American Alligator & Pied-Billed Grebe
White Ibis
Swainson's Warbler
Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Purple Gallinule
Least Bittern
Black-bellied Whistling Duck