Have you ever heard of the Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball team? Ever wonder what a mud hen is? We’ve got an answer for you.
The drama queens of the high desert, if the desert had a reality show, magpies would be the stars, constantly insisting on being the center of attention.
If you’ve got water, there’s a good chance you’ve got an osprey, or “fish hawk.” Lucky you.
It’s winter, the time of spectacle at McNary National Wildlife Refuge. Waterfowl by the thousands have moved in from northern breeding grounds to overwinter in the Mid-Columbia. On any given day, you might see 10,000 snow geese lifting off from a farm field. There might be 200 or more swans on the sloughs, mainly tundra swans but with several majestic trumpeter swans in the mix. The odd sound you hear overhead might be a flock of thousands of cackling geese. And there’s sure to be uncountable numbers of ducks on the water—pintail, ring-neck, canvasback, bufflehead, wigeon, Barrow’s goldeneye, shoveler and a host of other species. Come out and visit.
About the Complex
The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.
McNary 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 24, 2017
Experience the beauty and wonder of wildlife, highlighted by the return of Sandhill cranes to the Channeled Scablands. This three-day community event features a variety of activities March 24-26, 2017. Field trips take you to view cranes and thousands of geese and duck, burrowing owls (when they are around), and the other wildlife of Columbia NWR. Learn about songbirds, geology, local agriculture, and human projects that affect the natural world. All Saturday, experts present diverse and absorbing lectures on the area's natural and cultural heritage. An art contest, a live raptor presentation, and numerous children's activities are offered. The festival charges an admission fee that covers entrance to all lectures.
- March 15, 2017
The deadline for submitting entries for the 2017 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 2017 contest. And we would love to see winners selected from this area, painting the ducks found here. So, check this out.2017 Jr. Duck Stamp Contest
The clowns of the bird world, on land pelicans are goofy looking with their large orange-red bills, waddle and over-sized feet. Most of the time it looks like they forgot to comb their feathers. But put them in the air, and they become graceful and even elegant as they glide along in search of food.
Page Photo Credits Gray Squirrel - Chuck and Grace Bartlett, American Coot - J. Michael Raby, Black-billed Magpie - Chuck and Grace Bartlett, White Pelican - Ingrid Taylar, Pale Evening Primrose - Mark Turner
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017