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From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society. This account was partially reviewed and updated in 2007.

Seiling is between Oklahoma City and Woodward. Begin the route on SH 281 about 3 miles north of Seiling. Turn off SH 281 on the first road to the right after crossing the North Canadian River bridge. The 25-mile route follows country roads north to near the Cimarron River. There are sage covered sandhills at the beginning of the route and "gyp hills canyon country" in the central and northern parts. From Seiling the first 11 miles follow section lines. Birds are Field and Lark Sparrows and other species of woodland and open country. From mile 9 through 11 the wooded hills get steeper and bird species seen and heard drop rapidly.

The next 7 miles wind through ranch land where canyons make straight roads impossible. The last 2.5 miles are blacktopped. Turn right off the blacktop after passing oil tanks on the right. Species common to the sandhills and wooded areas are no longer seen or heard, though many live in the scantily wooded canyons. Birds seen include Eastern and Western kingbirds, Lark and Grasshopper sparrows, Turkey Vultures, Eastern and Western meadowlarks, Mississippi Kites, with Painted Buntings, Eastern Phoebes, Mockingbirds, and Cardinals in the canyons. In this area listen for Cassin's Sparrows and Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and hybrid Lazuli-Indigo buntings may be seen.

The last 8 miles follow section lines for 3 miles; then the road veers to the right slightly, passing through ranches, with a canyon on the left. Mesquite is the tree found here, with cottonwoods in the valley. The shortgrass lands level off giving way to wheat fields on the right, and, for the last 2 miles, wheat on both sides. Birds here are Western Meadowlarks, both kingbirds, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Barn Swallows, Lark Sparrows, Mississippi Kites, and if the wheat has been harvested there are many doves.

Turn south at SH 281 to see Cliff Swallows as the road passes through real "gyp canyon country" or turn north on SH 281 to reach the Little Sahara Recreation Area.



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Last modified: September 21, 2009




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