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Hawks, Falcons and Owls Oh My

Anyone interested in learning more about falconry and Oklahoma’s wintering hawks, falcons and owls can attend a special program Saturday at Hackberry Flat near Frederick.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and Friends of Hackberry Flat are offering an educational program called “All About Raptors.”
To help participants learn raptor field marks and gain a better understanding of these avian predators, Greg Stipp, a falconer with the Oklahoma Falconers’ Association, will have live raptors on display.
The program kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with a classroom session focusing on bird of prey identification, raptor ecology, and the sport of falconry.
Melynda Hickman, wildlife diversity biologist for the Wildlife Department, explains that the classroom session will be followed by a guided field trip into the wildlife management area, weather permitting.
“The field trip lets participants test their new identification skills on raptors hunting the grasslands of Hackberry Flat WMA,” she said.
Hickman encourages all participants to dress warmly.A limited number of binoculars will be available for loan, and each participant will receive a free laminated hawk identification fact sheet. The program will end at noon and is suitable for ages 12 and older. There is no fee, but reservations are required.


Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, located near Frederick in southwestern Oklahoma, offers 7,120 acres of wildlife recreational opportunities.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, along with many conservation-minded partners, restored the wetland, creating a vast mosaic of wetland habitats for prairie waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds.
Upland areas of native sunflowers and cultivated fields interspersed with mesquite have become one of the state’s premier dove-hunting destinations.
Open for scheduled events, including Hackberry Flat Day in April, a star party in August, and a series of monarch watches in October, the modern Hackberry Flat Center offers interpretive guidance for wildlife enthusiasts, students and educators.
Participants of these educational programs are exempt from needing a Wildlife Conservation Passport or valid hunting or fishing license while on Hackberry Flat WMA. For more information, log on to wildlifedepartment.com.
To get to the Hackberry Flat Center, from Frederick, take U.S. 183 south for one mile, then go east on Airport Road for three miles. Follow the blacktop road south, and continue six miles. Watch for signs to the center.


To register for this event, or to get more information about this and other educational programs held at Hackberry Flat Center, contact Melynda Hickman at melynda.hickman@odwc.ok.gov or by phone at (405) 990-4977.

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Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›