A flock of Canada geese land at Ouray Refuge. In spring and fall, the honking of these birds fills the air throughout the day.
The Green River meanders through Ouray Refuge and provides cover and food for many wildlife species.
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.
Northern saw-whet owl
Close-up of a northern saw-whet owl at Ouray Refuge. This tiny owl eats mice and is seldom seen.
Ouray Refuge provides important habitat for mule deer, elk, pronghorn, and an occasional moose!
Wildlife sightings at Ouray Refuge
The top three most common species seen during the 4/13/15 bird count were American coot (1,653), gadwall (540), and green-winged teal (486). We counted 193 American white pelicans! We also saw Canada geese, mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler, cinnamon teal, American wigeon, redhead, canvasback, common merganser, bufflehead, ringneck, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, sandhill crane, great blue heron, double-crested cormorant, greater yellowlegs, lesser yellowlegs, killdeer, American avocet, black-necked stilt, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, Clark’s grebe, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, bald eagle, golden eagle, American kestrel, Franklin's gull, and ring-billed gull.
About the 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
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
What's new at Ouray Refuge
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!
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.
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
Ouray Refuge provides ample habitat for shorebirds in spring, summer, and fall.
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, Common loon: USFWS photo, Snowy plover: USFWS photo, 2014 Open House: USFWS photo/Dan Schaad, Green-winged teal: copyright by Linda West, American coots: copyright Linda West
Last Updated: Apr 15, 2015