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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

American avocet 150 x 118 L West

The number of bird species is steadily increasing, as temperatures continue to rise and migratory birds stop to rest and feed on their way north. The top three most common species seen during the 4/27/16 bird count were American coot (1,471), gadwall (675), and green-winged teal (443). We also saw Canada geese, mallard, northern pintail, northern shoveler, American wigeon, cinnamon teal, blue-winged teal, redhead, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, ruddy duck, American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, black-crowned night heron, great blue heron, great egret, snowy egret, white-faced ibis, Virginia rail, sandhill crane, Wilson's phalarope, black-necked stilt, American avocet, black-bellied plover, semipalmated plover, killdeer, lesser yellowlegs, Dowitcher spp., marbled godwit, willet, western sandpiper, pied-billed grebe, eared grebe, western grebe, Clark’s grebe, red-tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk, northern harrier, American kestrel, turkey vulture, 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

  • Open House May 14 - Come Join Us!

    Bird viewing at Open House

    We invite people of all ages to join us at the 22nd annual Open House at Ouray Refuge! The event will be on Saturday, May 14 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! We'll have a display on the Utah Junior Duck Stamp contest, too, which shows art work of students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

  • 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, American avocet: Copyright Linda West, Pronghorn: Copyright Linda West, Western meadowlark: Copyright Linda West, Bird viewing at Open House: FWS photo
Last Updated: May 03, 2016
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