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Inside this WildSide e-Extra:
Wildlife ExpoRed Slough BirdingBirdbath Basics

Volume 1 • Issue 2 • July 2007

Top Ten Reasons You Should Attend the 2007 Oklahoma Wildlife Expo

September 28-30 @ the Lazy E Arena

1. It's 100% free--even the parking.

2. You're never too old or too young to try something for the first time. You could ride a four-wheeler, shoot a bow and arrow, cast a fly rod...maybe even saddle a mule.

3. You might learn how to keep that rowdy dog of yours under control at the dog training area.

4. You can rub elbows with country music star Blake Shelton on Sunday.

5. Two words: fried catfish. If you have a hankering for fried catfish or venison jerky - you can try them for free at the Taste of the Wild booth.

6. After your rambunctious kids climb a rock wall, ride a mountain bike, paddle a kayak, catch a fish and generally run wild around the Expo, you're sure to get some peace and quiet because they will be tired and ready to hit the pillow when you get home.

Wow! I don't think her parents are as excited as she is!
7. Standing inside an enclosed canopy with a few hundred butterflies all around you is just plain cool.

8. If you are going to attend only one official centennial event, the Wildlife Expo is the one you don't want to miss. Plus, the Expo has been moved to the last weekend in September (Sept. 28-30) so it shouldn't be as hot this year.

9. You can win a bunch of prizes from hats to an ATV to outdoor merchandise.

10. It is the biggest display of outdoor-related activities and conservation groups you will ever see in your lifetime.

Written by Micah Holmes. Micah is an information supervisor and his favorite activity at the Expo is the dog training.

Red Slough WMA

Birding in southeast Oklahoma is a one-of-a-kind experience.

What a treat to see a beautiful purple gallinule at Red Slough WMA near Idabel, OK.
The rainfall has been excellent at Red Slough this year resulting in a bonanza of birds and other wildlife.  Visitors to the slough wishing to see birds would have the best luck by walking west from the middle and north parking lots along Mudline Road.  A ¾ mile walk west of the north parking lot will bring you to the heron rookery on Otter Lake where currently several thousand herons and egrets are nesting.  Also nesting here with them are anhinga and three species of ibis.  If you visit early in the morning or late in the evening you will have a chance of seeing a common moorhen or hearing a king rail.  During mid to late summer, wood storks and roseate spoonbills can be found in this area.  A ½ mile walk west from the middle parking lot will bring you to Bittern Lake which is a hotspot for both species of bitterns.  Common moorhens and occasionally purple gallinules can be found here also.  There are three wildlife observation platforms on this route and there is a loop you can walk around the lake.  During the early morning and late evening hours watch for black-bellied whistling ducks flying overhead.  Anywhere you walk or drive at Red Slough watch for the painted bunting and prothonotary warbler, both of which are fairly common here.

Written by David Arbour. Image by Berlin Heck. David is a biologist aide at Red Slough and he is an avid birder in southeast Oklahoma. Berlin is a very talented wildlife photographer.

Save the Date: 2007 Wildlife Expo, September 28--30, Lazy E Arena

Birdbath Basics

It's All About Cleanliness in the Summer Months!

Birds will travel great distances for a reliable, clean water source, particularly during the hot months of summer.  By maintaining a clean water source for birds you will likely attract more bird species than with seed feeders not to mention the enjoyment of watching bathing behaviors. Successful birdbaths are located in shady areas, approximately 10 feet from protective cover.

The secret to attracting lots of birds is to keep your birdbath full at all times. Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh and avoid the growth of algae. Most important, clean the birdbath regularly to get rid of spoiled food particles and droppings which may spread bird diseases by using a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach. For more bird bath information click here.

Don’t forget to clean and replace the sugar water in your hummingbird feeders at least every three days.  Hummingbird feeders that can be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly are the best.  Use hot water and vinegar to remove bacteria and fungus molds. 

Written by Melynda Hickman. Melynda is a natural resources biologist and enjoys feeding birds in her backyard at home.

Our Mission:

The WILDLIFE DIVERSITY PROGRAM monitors and manages the state's wildlife and fish species that are not hunted or fished.