Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area and Kingsley Dam

Lake Ogallala
Eagle Viewing Building at Lake Ogallala Photo by Paul A. Johnsgard
Cedar Point Biol. Station
Cedar Point Biological Station Lake Ogallala Photo by Paul A. Johnsgard

Kingsley Dam offers a good vantage point for birds both on the deeper end of Lake McConaughy and on the shallower and much smaller Lake Ogallala located at the base of the dam. Lake Ogallala (and its eastern end, often called Lake Keystone) receives the spillway water from Lake McConaughy, and its level fluctuates greatly. However, it is very attractive to migrant ducks, ospreys, Caspian terns, cliff swallows, gulls, American white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and other summering species, and is used by Canada geese and by numerous bald eagles in winter.

An eagle-watching blind is available during peak periods, when 200-300 eagles are sometimes present. It is available from late December through early March, Thursdays and Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Camping is possible along the western and northern shorelines of Lake Ogallala, where the deciduous wooded habitats offers a rich array of nesting passerines, but lake fluctuations limit nesting for aquatic species. A free modern interpretive center emphasizing water ecology on the south side of the dam is worth a visit.