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Lake Overholser
Canadian & Oklahoma

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From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society, supplemented in 2007 with material from the OKC Audubon Society.

What is said about Lake Hefner is equally true of Lake Overholser which is located west of the city just south of Northwest 39th Expressway (US 66-US 270). Overholser is a 1,700 acre, fairly shallow impoundment of the North Canadian River. A paved road around the lake offers easy access to the shore. It differs from Lake Hefner in having an extensive cattail marsh at its north end which extends north across US 66 for about 0.5 mile. Nesting species have included King Rails, Common Gallinules, Pied-billed Grebes, and Least Bitterns. The various herons and egrets feed here in numbers. The marsh attracts thousands of roosting blackbirds in late summer and fall.

The following, by Jimmy Woodard, is excerpted from the OKC Audubon Society Lake Olverhoser Page. Please visit their page their page for a complete account:

Points of Interest: East dam, west dam, the park below the dam, West Overholser Drive, the new park at Northwest 23rd (west side), north shore pullouts, coffer dam/rollover dam, Lake Overholser Park and the "island."

With its variety of habitats, birding can be good here any season of the year. Obviously, spring and fall migrations are best with the combination of migrant passerines, shorebirds and waterfowl producing the largest numbers of birds. Winter can be productive with large rafts of ducks, gulls and cormorants, especially during iceover events.

The best vantage points for waterbirds on or over the lake depends on the time of day. In the morning, the best viewing is from the dam, the island, the north shore or the coffer dam. In the afternoon, viewing is better from the west side road, the new park at Northwest 23rd or the west end of the dam.

For passerines and other landbirds, the best locations are the woods below the dam, the coffer dam, the north shore pullouts and the park-like areas on the east side of the lake. Shorebirding is usually not great unless the lake level is down. When the fields west of the lake have standing water, shorebirds can be abundant near the new park at and along Northwest 23rd.

Please see the excellent OKC Audubon Society Lake Olverhoser Page for complete details on birding this area and for a bird list.


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Last modified: September 21, 2009




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