Skip Navigation


  • Burrowing Owl Promo

    Burrowing Owls

    Looking for all the world like a child's cute stuffed toy, burrowing owls are beloved residents of the shrub-steppe.

    Burrowing Owls

  • Badger Promo


    Tough, grizzled, occasionally grouchy, the badger is the curmudgeon next door—gruff but a good guy with an interesting life story to tell.


  • Mule Deer Promo

    Mule Deer Photo Gallery

    You'll see a lot of mule deer here. There's a good reason for that—Umatilla has one of the most impressive mule deer herds found anywhere.

    Mule Deer Photo Gallery

Watching Wildlife

Watching Wildlife

Watching Wildlife

Want to see more animals on your trip to Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.

Umatilla is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge 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  

Follow NWRS Online


Of Special Interest

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder . . .


. . . or if you have to try to live there. Many plants that people think are “pretty” are, ecologically speaking, disastrous to wildlife. Plants, such as purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus), false indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) and even phragmites (Phragmites australis), are considered by many to be desirable landscaping plants. That would be fine, if they stayed in your backyard landscape. However, when they escape into the wild, they can out-compete native plants, forming monocultures where before a wide variety of plants provided for native wildlife. Often, these foreign escapees have no forage value for native wildlife, or they create habitats that have a different physical characteristic than wildlife can use (e.g., they may be tall, whereas native birds need low bushes for nesting). So, when you see a colorful field of plants on the refuge, beware that they may mask a terrible problem.

Page Photo Credits — Mule Deer  At Sunset - Chuck & Grace Bartlett, Burrowing Owl - Jane Abel, Badger - James Perdue, Mule Deer Buck - Chuck and Grace Bartlett
Last Updated: May 26, 2015


  • 2015 Events Calendar

    Snowy Owl - EventsJanuary 01, 2015

    We've summarized our of events for you in PDF format. Things do change, so please look at the event details in the calendar.

    2015 Events Calendar (PDF)
Return to main navigation