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Stop 23: Jay Buckle Springs

Directions: From Mangum, go west on Highway 9 to Reed, then North approximately 4 miles. The spring is on the right.

Jay Buckle Springs are named after the Jay Buckle Ranch, whose headquarters were near this locally famous watering hole. On the way to the springs from Mangum, look for Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, as well as wildflowers along the roadside in spring. Red-winged Blackbirds, Western Meadowlarks, Red-tailed Hawks, and Mourning Doves are easily seen here.

The springs are surrounded by large cottonwood trees. In spring and summer look for Yellow Warblers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers flitting among the leaves. Just past the springs, which are public access, is the Jay Buckle Bridge, which crosses the Elm Fork of the Red River. Sunrise on this stretch of river is enchanting, and like other bridges in the area, it is home to hundreds of Cliff Swallows.

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black kettle grassland