Looking for all the world like a child's cute stuffed toy, burrowing owls are beloved residents of the shrub-steppe.
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 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
Each season at Umatilla NWR brings its own sounds. But while many of the sounds of spring, summer and fall are man-made, winter is all about nature. Winter is when people disappear, but waterfowl arrive. First, there are a few ducks in October, then a few more each week. Then without fanfare, the geese are there—first the Canada geese, then the snow geese, arriving by the dozens, then the hundreds, then the thousands. Add a few dozen migrating tundra swans and the bald eagles talked about elsewhere on this site, and you've got one of the best birdwatching opportunities in the Northwest. Come on a non-hunt day (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays), and there's a good chance you'll have the refuge to yourself.Seasons of Wildlife
About the 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
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
Of Special Interest
- March 15, 2016
The deadline for submitting entries for the 2016 Jr. Duck Stamp contest is rapidly approaching. Are you a student in K-12? Do you have artistic talent? Care about wildlife? Looking for fame and fortune? Then you should at least take a look at entering the 2016 contest. And we would love to see winners selected from this area, painting the ducks found here. So, check this out.2016 Jr. Duck Stamp Contest
Now that the summer season is upon us, 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
Want to see more animals on your trip to Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."Watching Wildlife
Majestic. Regal. Striking. Beautiful. Graceful. Fearsome. All words used to describe the symbol of America, the bald eagle. While the truth sometimes paints a different picture, unless you live in Alaska, there's little doubt that the mere sighting of an eagle invokes some of these images. Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge is fortunate to host several eagles each winter, and their return is always eagerly anticipated.
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: Jan 12, 2016