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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

Red-necked phalarope 150 x 118 L West

Ouray Refuge is full of phalaropes! The top three most common species seen during the 5/12/16 bird count were American coot (964), red-necked phalarope (385), and Canada geese (227). We also saw mallard, gadwall, northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon, green-winged teal, cinnamon teal, blue-winged teal, wood duck, redhead, canvasback, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, bufflehead, American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, snowy egret, white-faced ibis, sandhill crane, Wilson's phalarope, black-necked stilt, American avocet, killdeer, Dowitcher spp , willet, spotted sandpiper, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, Clark’s grebe, red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, American kestrel, peregrine falcon, ring-billed gull, Bonaparte's gull, and Forster's tern.

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

  • Families Flock to Open House Event

    Open House 2016 150 x 118

    The 22nd annual Open House at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge/Ouray National Fish Hatchery was held on May 14. Sunny, warm weather brought out many families to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Refuge and learn about wildlife conservation and other subjects. Children enjoyed making a pine cone bird feeder, spraying a fire truck hose, seeing endangered fish in large tanks, playing the Monarch butterfly migration game, touching animal furs and skulls, and identifying birds through a spotting scope. In addition to the planned activities, kids were excited about unexpected sightings of wildlife such as lizards and ground squirrels! The success of the Open House depends on the participation of numerous volunteers representing agencies at the local (Uintah County Mosquito Abatement District, Uintah County Weed Department), State (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources), and Federal level (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service), as well as private individuals who graciously spent their Saturday sharing their expertise with visitors. A big Thank You to all our wonderful volunteers!

  • The Sounds of Spring

    W meadowlark 150 x 118 L West

    A visit to Ouray Refuge in spring is a treat for your ears as well as your eyes! The melodious notes of western meadowlarks fill the air, especially in early morning and late afternoon. The twitter of American goldfinches, the trill of red-winged blackbirds, and the cooing of mourning doves add to the symphony of sound. Come listen!

  • Wildlife Wanderings at Ouray Refuge

    Pronghorn 150 x 118 L West

    We see a herd of about 25 pronghorn wandering through Ouray Refuge regularly, especially on the bluffs. If you're lucky, you'll get to see the elk when they gather to feed in the farm fields near the Headquarters building. The best time to view these animals is in the morning or early evening. Come enjoy the peace & quiet of a calm spring evening. You never know what wildlife you may see!

  • Bird Numbers Rise at Ouray Refuge

    Mallard by L West

    We have good water conditions at Ouray Refuge in Sheppard Bottom and Leota Bottom. Increasing numbers of waterfowl, including green-winged teal and mallards, can be seen and heard on the Refuge. Birds are also using sand bars in the Green River within the Refuge. In the evening, Canada geese and sandhill cranes fly overhead between the Refuge and nearby Pelican Lake, and their sounds fill the air.

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, Mallard drake. Copyright Linda West, Pronghorn: Copyright Linda West, Western meadowlark: Copyright Linda West, Open House bird feeder station: FWS photo, Red-necked phalarope: Copyright Linda West
Last Updated: May 19, 2016
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