The Nature Center is a wonderful place to encounter the wildlife of the Tulsa area. Oxley Nature Center's 804 acres support a diversity of habitats along the south bank of Bird Creek. The flood-plain forest, comprised of giant cottonwoods, sycamores, oaks, pecans, and hackberry trees and many other smaller trees and shrubs, is home to many kinds of animals and wildflowers. Combined with open areas maintained as hay meadows or prairies and a variety of wetlands, the different habitats make especially rich combinations of conditions.
More than 200 kinds of birds may be found at the Nature Center during the year. Over 50 kinds of butterflies have been found so far, and other insects like dragonflies and aquatic insects are numerous. The most commonly observed reptiles are the red-eared pond sliders and other aquatic turtles that sun themselves near the water. No venomous snakes have ever been found at the Nature Center, but water snakes are very commonly seen (they have no venom, but are aggressive if captured or provoked.) If you are in the right place at the right time, you may find one of the many mammals that live at the Nature Center: deer, raccoon, bobcat, mink, skunk, coyote, flying squirrel, and beaver all make their homes here. It is more likely that you will find evidence of their presence instead: a track, a tuft of fur, a chewed tree, or a home.
Hundreds of flowering plants may be enjoyed. The first wave of wildflowers begins as early as February or March, peaking in May and June. Another wave begins in July and August, peaking in September and October. The best time to enjoy the colors of fall foliage ranges from mid-October to mid-November, although some plants begin to show color in August, and the peak of fall color sometimes delays until late November.
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