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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.

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    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

White pelicans T Howells 150 x 118

The top three most common species seen during the 10/8/15 bird count were Canada geese (1383). American coot (625), and green-winged teal (393). We also saw mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon, blue-winged teal, redhead, ruddy duck, ring-necked duck, canvasback, common merganser, great blue heron, American white pelican, sandhill crane, double-crested cormorant, least sandpiper, lesser yellowlegs, Dowitcher spp., killdeer, American avocet, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, 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

  • Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week!

    Sandhill cranes in flight

    Experience the natural wonder and solitude of your public lands. Come on out to Ouray Refuge to enjoy the abundant wildlife viewing opportunities, gorgeous fall scenery, and beautiful weather. While there, you can fish, hunt, hike, or just immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. It's only 30 minutes from either Vernal or Roosevelt, Utah. The Refuge is open every day from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset, and it's free!

  • It's Elk Bugling Time at Ouray Refuge!

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    The elk are bugling every night at Ouray Refuge, and they keep it up until morning. These large animals make a high-pitched, haunting sound that echos through the night. If you're lucky, you can see the elk in the farm fields across from Refuge Headquarters at twilight, or you may see them along the Auto Tour Road near the observation tower.

  • Birds are Flocking to Ouray Refuge

    Sandhill cranes T Howells 150 x 118

    It's a great time for bird-watching at Ouray Refuge! As temperatures drop, migratory birds are starting to gather in larger numbers. Sandhill cranes and Canada geese are among the most vocal and visible birds. You can see them in the farm fields across from Refuge Headquarters, on sand bars in the Green River along the Auto Tour Road, or flying overhead on their way to or from nearby Pelican Lake. You can also see other waterfowl and water birds in Leota Bottom and Sheppard Bottom wetlands.

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, Bugling elk: Copyright John Savage, Sandhill cranes: copyright Tom Howells, White pelicans: copyright Tom Howells, Sandhill cranes in flight: Copyright John Savage
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2015
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