The Wild Side - Your June Wildlife Update

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June 20, 2019

June Wild Side Host Plant


Take Your Backyard to the Next Pollinator Level

Adding colorful backyard flowering plants has been a popular way for Oklahomans to help our state’s butterfly community. Luckily, these pollinator-friendly patches can start small – and stay small – while still packing a big win for conservation. But if you’re ready to grow your wildscape, Matt Fullerton, wildlife biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, recommends adding plants that benefit the full butterfly life cycle.  

Get tips for your pollinator garden

Eastern Collared Lizard


Species Spotlight:  Eastern Collared Lizard

Bright colors and a jumble of patterns mark Oklahoma’s state reptile, especially during their mating season. From spring through fall these lizards may be spotted basking on rocks and riprap. They primarily feed on insects, including grasshoppers and cicadas, but may occasionally capture other lizards. Though often referred to as “mountain boomers,” these reptiles do not have a voice.

Learn more in the Wildlife Department's online guide

American Bumble Bee Promo June Wild Side


“Bee” Part of Oklahoma’s Conservation Efforts

Oklahoma’s pollinator community plays an important role across our state and the Wildlife Department is partnering with other Oklahomans to learn more about one pollinator, the American bumble bee.

Bumble bees are familiar insects, but what makes American bumble bees distinguishable is the pattern of black and yellow bands. American bumble bees have a hairy abdomen, and three black and two yellow bands. Share your photos and sighting information at to help shape our understanding of the status and range of this bee in Oklahoma.

Find out more about this project

Killdeer Adult and Chick


Killdeer Pair Tends a Woodward County Nest

The Wildlife Department’s Assistant Director Wade Free loves seeing the burnt remains of the invasive eastern redcedar, but this spring he was surprised to find the cold cinders of what used to be a Woodward County redcedar had been turned into a maternity ward for one of our most common nesting shorebirds.

The killdeer’s heavily speckled eggs are laid directly on the ground in a small depression, or scrape, initiated by the male during courtship. The pair trades sitting duty during the nearly month-long incubation period. Killdeer chicks are among North America’s most fully developed young at hatching; the downy chicks are mobile at birth and can leave the nest as soon as their feathers dry. Though chicks follow their parents after leaving the nest, they can find insects and other food on their own.

Watch this series of video clips as the killdeer pair tend their nest and young

Calendar of Events

National Pollinator Week

June 17 - 23


The Wild Side e-newsletter is a project of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Wildlife Diversity Program. The Wildlife Diversity Program monitors, manages and promotes rare, declining, and endangered wildlife, as well as common wildlife not fished or hunted. It is funded in part by sales of Wildlife Department license plates, publication sales, and tax checkoff dollars.

License Plate Promo

Adding a Wildlife Conservation specialty license plate to your vehicle is a great way to help the Wildlife Diversity Program fund surveys of rare or declining nongame fish and wildlife. Twenty dollars of the $39 fee ($36.50 for renewals) goes to the Wildlife Department. Wildlife Conservation Plate fees are in addition to annual registration fees. The application for a pre-numbered or personalized plate is available at