The Woodward Park
complex, the largest and most rewarding for birders, includes Woodward
Park, bounded by Peoria Ave. on the west, 21 St. on the north, and
Rockford on the east. To the south is the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden,
and south of that are the
Center and Arboretum. The whole area is a Bird Sanctuary.
into the Garden Center from Peoria and park behind the large Italian
Renaissance-style mansion, built in 1919 and owned by the City of Tulsa
since 1954. The Garden Center is operated by its own board and sponsors
many programs on nature and gardening. Tulsa Audubon holds its monthly
meetings at the
Center's auditorium September - May at 7:00 p.m. on the third
Tuesday of the month.
The center also
operates the Arboretum east of the building where 270 trees and shrubs
which grow in Oklahoma are to be found. The Red-breasted Nuthatch often
winters here as does the Rufous-sided Towhee and the White-throated,
Harris's, and Song sparrows.
The Tulsa Municipal
Rose Garden, in a formal terraced setting with pools, fountains, and
goldfish, grows 9000 rose bushes of some 270 varieties. The peak
blooming periods are May and October. East of the Rose Garden is a row
of very large cedar trees which provides shelter for Common Screech-Owls
and winter passerines. The test garden beyond the cedars attracts
numerous species of birds at all seasons.
Park on the north may be entered by car from Peoria or from Rockford to
reach parking near the Rose Garden. The park is well used; never leave a
car unlocked. Built on a hill, the park slopes northward toward 21 St.
and toward Peoria on the west from its highest point on the south and
east. The hill is characterized by very large, mature deciduous trees,
mostly oaks which are much older than the City of Tulsa. As these
magnificent old trees are beginning to die, the park has begun an
extensive program of replanting.
specialties of the park are a formal English herb garden on the east; a
rock garden and simulated stream and pond with rotated floral plantings
on the northeastern corner; and a magnificent azalea garden on the bluff
rising from the north and west sides. This display is at its best in
April and birders should arrive in early morning to avoid the crowds.
Below the azalea plantings is a swamp garden where surprising birds have
been found such as Sora and Purple Gallinule.
Birding in Woodward
Park is excellent all year but can be spectacular during migration. One
year 17 warbler species were identified in one tree. The Solitary Vireo
and Rose-breasted Grosbeak are regular migrants. Palm Warblers and
Ovenbirds prefer the trails and beds in the azalea gardens. After
"Yellow-shafted" and "Red-shafted" flickers were observed courting one
spring, a hybrid Northern Flicker was found the following fall.