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Features

  • 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

    Badgers

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

    Badgers

  • 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

Umatilla Islands

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

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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

  • Duck Hanky Panky

    Crazy Duck

    See a duck behaving oddly between December and April? You’re likely catching ducks in the act of courtship! Mallards rapidly pumping their heads up and down? How about males raising their bodies out of the water, pulling their heads up and whistling, then grunting? Often a bunch of males do this together to show off to females. Common goldeneye males throw their heads violently backwards to bounce of their backs while giving a little kick. Northern shovelers engage in exciting aerial displays as they erratically twist, dip and circle. In the water, shoveler drakes bill-jerk and neck-stretch to impress the girls. These elaborate courtship rituals encourage cooperation in choosing to pair.

  • Refuge Islands Closure

    Great Blue Heron - Islands

    As thoughts turn to warmer weather, this is just a reminder that all islands on the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge are closed to public access. This is part of ongoing efforts to protect wildlife and habitat; the closures prevent disturbance to wildlife, reduce the risk of wildfire from campfires and fireworks that could harm nesting habitat, protect sensitive cultural resources and reduce trash and human waste. The islands closed include the Blalock Islands, Sand Islands, Telegraph Island, Long Walk Island and the small sand peninsula (sometimes an island) located on the eastern tip of Crow Butte Island. We realize that these are attractive places for recreation, but these islands are important to wildlife, and there are very few refuge areas for wildlife left on the Columbia River. Thank you for your understanding.

    Islands Closure Map
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: Mar 23, 2016
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