If you enjoy getting outdoors and looking for wildlife, consider a visit to Ouray Refuge! From birding to viewing speedy pronghorn or slow-moving porcupines, wildlife observation is the most popular activity for Refuge visitors.
A 9-mile self-guided auto tour route winds through a variety of Refuge habitats, providing excellent wildlife viewing. Visitors traveling this route will have opportunities to see ducks, geese, cranes, herons, and a variety of shorebirds in the Refuge wetland areas. The road meets and follows the river where red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, great horned owls, songbirds, and porcupines can be seen in the cottonwood and willow trees. As the tour route travels up the clay bluffs onto the grasslands, white-tailed prairie dogs and pronghorns can be seen on both sides of the road along with western meadowlarks, sage sparrows, and black-tailed and white-tailed jackrabbits.
A wildlife viewing area, adjacent to the farm fields near the Visitor Center, provides opportunities to see Canada geese and mallards by the thousands in spring and fall. During this same time of year, other species, such as red-winged blackbirds, American goldfinches, horned larks, and savannah sparrows, can also be seen in the croplands. Look for bald and golden eagles perched on nearby cottonwoods hunting for smaller bird and mammal species. From September through November mule deer, elk, and pheasant become more active and easier to see.