Have you ever heard of the Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball team? Ever wonder what a mud hen is? We’ve got an answer for you.
The drama queens of the high desert, if the desert had a reality show, magpies would be the stars, constantly insisting on being the center of attention.
If you’ve got water, there’s a good chance you’ve got an osprey, or “fish hawk.” Lucky you.
About the Complex
The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.
McNary is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Learn more about the complex
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Of Special Interest
One of the most sought-after events at McNary is a Spring Classroom Field Trip offered by the Friends of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges. The demand has grown so great that the Friends have had to implement a lottery to be fair to all those schools and teachers wanting to visit. Unfortunately, the application deadline for the classes was December 1, and all the openings are filled for 2016. We wish the Friends were able to accommodate everyone who would like to bring their class here (the Friends do too!), but they are a volunteer organization, and there are only so many classes they can offer. So, please plan ahead for 2017, and check the Friends web site before December 1 to apply.
Osprey are common along our rivers and lakes—anywhere there is water and fish. Unlike most other birds, they make little attempt to hide their nests, making it easy to follow a nest from egg laying right through the young leaving the nest to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, the manner in which ospreys build their nests clashes with our propensity to litter. In the wild, ospreys often line their nests with lichens, mosses and grasses. However, they will readily use substitute materials, which, sadly, often means baling twine and fishing line. The problem is it can kill them. All too often, they become entangled in the line, suffering gruesome deaths by strangulation or starvation. Researchers at the University of Montana estimate that as much as 10 to 30 percent of osprey chicks and adults in some areas are killed by this baling twine, fish nets, or fishing line. Every year, we’re called to rescue an entangled osprey, but we often arrive too late, or don’t have the resources to pull off a rescue. Many utility companies, such as the Benton REA, have been wonderful partners in helping us rescue ospreys, but we really need your help. When you’re outside, pick up any twine, rope, fishing line, etc.—you may just be saving one of these magnificent birds from a cruel death.University of Montana Osprey Project
The clowns of the bird world, on land pelicans are goofy looking with their large orange-red bills, waddle and over-sized feet. Most of the time it looks like they forgot to comb their feathers. But put them in the air, and they become graceful and even elegant as they glide along in search of food.
Page Photo Credits Gray Squirrel - Chuck and Grace Bartlett, American Coot - J. Michael Raby, Black-billed Magpie - Chuck and Grace Bartlett, White Pelican - Ingrid Taylar
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2016