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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

Birds at Ouray Refuge

Canada goose 150 x 118

We haven't had this high a number of waterfowl in late January since 2006. Usually there aren’t any waterfowl at Ouray Refuge by this time of the winter. But the unseasonably mild temperatures mean much more open water than usual and more bird species/numbers. The top three most common species seen during the 1/23/15 bird count were Canada geese (2,180), mallard (2,100), and sandhill crane (760). We also saw northern pintail, American wigeon, common merganser, great horned owl, northern harrier, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel, and bald eagle.

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

  • Birds are still active at Ouray Refuge

    sandhill cranes 150 x 118

    The weather has been unseasonably mild over the last week, which means the Green River still has open water and there are lots of birds around. We spotted well over 100 sandhill cranes on January 11 in the fields across from Headquarters, and hundreds of Canada geese fly back and forth all day long between Ouray Refuge and nearby Pelican Lake. The geese fly in long "V" formations, and sometimes they are so low you can hear the whooshing of their wings are they pass by overhead.

  • Attention Elk Hunters

    bugling elk 150 x 118

    Please note changes to archery elk hunting regulations on Ouray Refuge. Click the link below for more information.

    Hunting and Fishing Regs
  • Unusual Sighting of a Common Loon at Ouray Refuge

    Common loon 150 x 118

    During the bi-weekly bird survey on July 2, 2014, our biologist spotted a common loon in the Leota wetland area. This is only the second time in 12 years that our biologist has seen this species on Ouray Refuge!

  • Proposed Oil and Gas Wells on Ouray Refuge

    Two draft Environmental Assessments (EA) on proposed oil and gas drilling on Ouray Refuge have been prepared. The public comment closed on April 22, 2014. Thurston Energy Operating Company is proposing to drill two oil and natural gas wells from two proposed well pad locations and Ultra Resources, Inc. (URI) is proposing to drill nine oil and gas wells from five proposed well pad locations. View the Thurston draft EA and news release, and the URI draft EA and news release at the "Learn more" link below.

    Learn more
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, Prairie dog: Sonja Jahrsdoerfer/USFWS, Long-billed curlew chick: Copyright Jack Binch, Common loon: USFWS photo, Snowy plover: USFWS photo, White pelicans: USFWS photo
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015
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