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  • 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

  • 20th Annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival

    Sandhill Crane Festival PromoMarch 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. 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.

    Othello Sandhill Crane Festival Site
  • Spring Is Here

    Long-billed Curlew

    As the days start to get warm and longer, be on the lookout for Umatilla's many spring-time visitors. The long-billed curlews arrive in March and begin preparing to nest; look for them foraging in the farm fields and in the flat grassy areas of the refuge. While curlews may be the star of the show, many other spring-time birds can be found, including western meadowlarks and Say's phoebes. The colorful birds of spring may be what catches your eye, but don't forget to look down! Wildflowers are starting to bloom, as well, and dot the ground with beautiful bursts of color. Oregon sunshine are a small yellow flower blooming now and long-leafed phlox in a light purple will soon follow. Whatever spring-time beacon you are in search of, you can find it on your visit to Umatilla NWR.

Page Photo Credits — Mule Deer  At Sunset - Chuck & Grace Bartlett, Burrowing Owl - Jane Abel, Badger - James Perdue, Mule Deer Buck - Chuck and Grace Bartlett, Pale Evening Primrose - Mark Turner
Last Updated: Mar 17, 2017
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