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  • Canada geese 218x116

    Canada geese

    A flock of Canada geese land at Ouray Refuge. In spring and fall, the honking of these birds fills the air throughout the day.

  • scenery Green R 218x116

    Green River

    The Green River meanders through Ouray Refuge and provides cover and food for many wildlife species.

  • porcupine 218 x 116


    If you want to see a prickly porcupine at Ouray Refuge, look up! One of the best places to see them is high up in a tree.

  • NSW owl 218x116

    Northern saw-whet owl

    Close-up of a northern saw-whet owl at Ouray Refuge. This tiny owl eats mice and is seldom seen.

  • Mule deer 218 x 116

    Mule deer

    Ouray Refuge provides important habitat for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, and an occasional moose!

Wildlife sightings at Ouray Refuge

Bird Survey at Ouray Refuge

Ruddy drake Linda West 150 x 118

Ruddy ducks made the top three for the first time! The top three most common species seen during the 4/27/15 bird count were American coot (1,811), American white pelican (426), and ruddy duck (287). We also saw Canada geese, snow goose, mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, American wigeon, redhead, canvasback, common merganser, ringneck, lesser scaup, great blue heron, black-crowned night heron, white-faced ibis, double-crested cormorant, greater yellowlegs, lesser yellowlegs, dowitchers spp., killdeer, American avocet, black-necked stilt, Wilson's phalarope, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, Clark’s grebe, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, peregrine falcon, American kestrel, turkey vulture, Franklin's gull, and ring-billed gull.

About the Complex

Lower Green River Complex

Refuges in the Lower Green River Complex include Ouray Refuge, Browns Park Refuge, and the Colorado River Wildlife Management Area.

Ouray is managed as part of the Lower Green River Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


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  

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What's new at Ouray Refuge

  • Come to the Ouray Refuge Annual Open House!

    Ouray Refuge Open House 2014

    We invite people of all ages to join us at the 21st annual Open House at Ouray Refuge! The event will be on Saturday, May 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Come see the amazing variety of waterfowl and shorebirds that use the Refuge, learn about the importance of pollinators such as bees and butterflies, try your hand at throwing an atlatl (an ancient spear-thrower that was used very early in human history), see endangered fish up close at the Ouray National Fish Hatchery, and more! Boy Scouts who complete the Open House activities can earn the special Ouray Refuge patch. Contact the Refuge at 435-545-2522 for more information.

  • Lots of Water Means Lots of Birds at Ouray Refuge

    Green winged teal 150 x 118 by L West

    There is still lots of water in Leota Bottom and we are putting water into one unit of Sheppard Bottom from Pelican Lake for the first time in over a year. These increased areas of open water support hundreds of ducks, geese, shorebirds, water birds, sandhill cranes, hawks, and bald eagles. It's a great time to come marvel at the variety of bird life at Ouray Refuge!

  • FONSI Signed for Proposed Oil & Gas Project at Ouray Refuge

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently signed a Finding of No Significant Impact for a proposed oil & gas project at Ouray Refuge. Thurston Energy Operating Company has proposed drilling two oil and gas wells at Ouray Refuge in an area with Refuge surface ownership and State minerals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Thurston have collaborated to modify the proposed project to reduce environmental impacts, including moving the tank battery and associated equipment to the upper area of the Refuge on State land that already supports multiple well pads, and away from sensitive areas in the vicinity of Leota Bottom and the Green River. A surface pipeline will be installed to move oil, gas, and water to the tank battery, thus removing the need to have tanker trucks on the main Refuge road and the well pads near Leota Bottom and the Green River. In addition, the Service and Thurston have mutually agreed on a list of other conservation measures designed to minimize any potential effects to biological, physical, and cultural resources. The FONSI is available at the link below. Please contact the Refuge at 435-545-2522 for more information.

    Thurston Energy oil & gas project FONSI
Page Photo Credits — Canada geese: Copyright John Savage, Northern saw-whet owl: Dan Alonzo/USFWS, Green River: Copyright John Savage, Mule deer: Copyright John Savage, Porcupine in tree: USFWS photo, Black-necked stilt: Copyright John Savage, 2014 Open House: USFWS photo/Dan Schaad, Green-winged teal: copyright by Linda West, Ruddy duck: Copyright Linda West
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2015
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