Stanley Draper Lake
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
north on E. 48 Ave. in Norman from the Alameda intersection. This is a
reservoir with a paved road across the dam and dirt roads following the
shoreline around the west side of the lake. Cross the dam and return,
then follow the shoreline roads to the snack-bar area. On the clearings
watch for Horned Larks. Along the shoreline there are migrant
shorebirds. In the water, in addition to the gulls and terns, the most
frequent waterfowl are Horned, Eared, and Pied-billed grebes, Common
Loons, American Coots, Mallards, Pintails, Gadwalls, American Wigeons,
Shovelers, teal, Redheads, Canvasbacks, Ring-necked Ducks, scaups,
Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, and Ruddy Ducks. Winter is the best
season for this area and morning hours the best time. The best way to
see it is by car and a telescope is needed.
The following, by Nancy
Vicars, is excerpted
OKC Audubon Society
Stanley Draper Lake Page. Please visit their page their page for a
A wide range of habitats - lake, lake shore, marshes, dense
“crosstimber” oak forest, woodland edges, roadcuts, roadside and other
cut-over brushy areas, open grassland and thickets of Sand Plum,
Poison-Ivy, Wild Blackberry and Sumac - attracts an exciting variety of
resident and migrating birds.
Birding from the safety of your car is
recommended. The low curbing along the paved perimeter road provides
easy pull-outs and there are access roads to fishing docks all around
Beginning at the marina, check the playground area, boat docks, scan the
lake, shorelines and the adjoining grassland. From this point, you may
chose to drive the paved perimeter road by going back to the
intersection of West Stanley Draper Drive & SE 104th then turn (south)
left. There will be several access roads to fishing docks and The
Crosstimber Campground that you may wish to explore.
Another option would be to take the first left turn onto the unimproved
(red-clay) road and follow this shoreline road which would give you the
best birding opportunities for wintering waterfowl as well as woodland
species. Both the paved and unimproved roads along the west side will
intersect near the dam located at the far south end of the lake.
After crossing the dam, you may again chose to follow the paved
perimeter road which becomes East Stanley Draper Drive or the unimproved
road, beginning at the intersection with Westminister Road. This
unimproved road does not follow the entire shoreline but it loops around
a few coves and fishing docks.
At the intersection of East Stanley Draper Drive & SE 89th, turn left
(west) onto North Stanley Draper Drive and continue on this paved road
for 2 miles until you intersect with Midwest Blvd., then turn left
(south). Midwest Blvd./West Stanley Draper Drive will take you back to
Words of caution…do not attempt to drive any of these unimproved roads
during or after it has recently rained!! These roads are very isolated
and help is not likely to be available. Also, extreme caution should
be observed birding in these remote areas if you are alone.
Unfortunately, illegal activities have been reported in some of these
Please see the excellent
OKC Audubon Society
Stanley Draper Lake Page for complete details on
birding this area and the birds one may find.