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Philbrook Museum Grounds

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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.

As of 2007 the grounds have undergone extensive renovations, resulting in the removal of much of the undergrowth. And access to the gardens is no longer free.

The Philbrook Museum at 27 St. and Rockford occupies 23 acres. The elegant Italian Renaissance mansion was built in 1927 as a residence by Phillips and was given as an Art Museum in 1938. The building itself is a notable art work which houses significant collections of Native American, African, Oriental, European, and American art. Behind the museum a formal terraced Italian garden slopes down to Crow Creek which winds through the east side of the grounds. Many very large deciduous trees shade spacious lawns and shrubs. Excellent habitat for birds through the year, especially for warblers, these grounds are less so at present due to severe damage from the 1984 flood and also to an extensive relandscaping project. No doubt there will be good recovery in a few years so long as the big trees remain.

Rest on a secluded stone bench on the lower level to look for Great Horned Owls with young in a giant oak, or to find White-breasted Nuthatches at a nest hole. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a fairly common migrant. Five species of thrush have been reported in one spring; Carolina Wrens may coax their young along tree limbs in late spring as they are being fed. The upper-level lawns on the south attract Chipping Sparrows in migration while the Mourning Warbler sings under shrubby growth or tangles of honeysuckle at the mid-level. A rare visitor to the creek was a Black-crowned Night-Heron; both Louisiana and Northern waterthrushes have walked the creek edges, while the rare Philadelphia Vireo fed in overhanging shrubs.









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Last modified: September 21, 2009




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