Possibly the most adaptable animal in North America (raccoons might disagree), coyotes thrive almost anywhere—including shrub-steppe.
Columbia NWR has a fascinating—and violent—geologic history. To truly know the refuge, you have to understand its past.
Some incredible photographers have donated some incredible photographs. If you can't visit Columbia NWR, this is a great consolation prize.
Washington Ground Squirrels
Too cute by half, Washington ground squirrels unfortunately spend most of the year below ground. Too bad; you can never get enough of them.
Washington Ground Squirrels
Columbia NWR is blessed with an abundance of rock faces, cliffs and crevices—perfect habitat for many species.
Want to see more animals on your trip to Columbia National Wildlife Refuge? Ready to add to your birding "Life List?" Here are some wildlife viewing tips from the "experts."Watching Wildlife
About the Complex
The Mid-Columbia River Refuges are eight refuges within the Columbia Basin.
Columbia is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River 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
The days are turning shorter and the nights colder. Fall is the time of year when wildlife is on the move, preparing for a difficult winter. While winters in the Columbia Basin aren’t that stressful to wildlife, nonetheless creatures here follow the natural instincts of their kind everywhere and are on the move preparing for winter. This is also the time of year when young are dispersing, leaving their birthplace to find territories of their own. Drivers need to slow down and keep a constant watch for wildlife. Haven’t you noticed more dead animals along the road lately? There’s always an upswing of wildlife-vehicle collisions in the fall. So, if getting home 23 seconds sooner is worth squashing a squirrel, mangling a marmot, bashing a beaver, or demolishing a deer, then by all means, keep driving like you’re on the NASCAR circuit. Apart from the permanent damage to wildlife, you’ll incur several hundred dollars worth of damage to your car. So, why don’t you just follow the traffic laws instead? Both your fellow drivers and our wildlife will thank you.
We are getting dinner ready for this fall's visitors—ducks and geese! How do we do that? First, we need to control the intruders that limit and destroy the duck's dinners—cattails, tules, phragmites and reed canarygrass. These plants choke out what ducks love to eat and sometimes grow so thick that ducks have no place in the water to land! The marshy areas where these aggressive plants grow are being dried out and disced to set back succession. This allows good duck food to grow in their stead. While some wetlands are being dried to kill invasive plants, other wetlands are being irrigated to give moisture to the preferred duck food—smartweed, nodding beggartick, barnyard grass, swamp timothy and water plantain. Every 2-3 weeks from June through September these marsh areas are flooded and then dried to stimulate the growth of desirable waterfowl food. In fall and winter, the ponds are fully flooded to provide safe feeding and resting areas for the thousands of ducks and geese that visit. Visit us this winter to see if our efforts paid off!Managed Wetlands
Formed by ancient volcanoes, carved by raging waters, these channeled scablands decorate the landscape with towering, fissures of basalt rock. The Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark showcases a portion of the vast Ice Ages Floods in the Columbia Basin.
Page Photo Credits Sandhill Crane Profile - Aditi the Stargazer (www.flickr.com/people/aditithestargazer/), Coyote Sentinel - Bandelier National Monument/Sally King, Basalt Columns - Gordon Warrick, Cedar Waxwings Kissing - Gordon Warrick, Washington Ground Squirrel - Dennis Paulson, Rattlesnake - Gordon Warrick, Black-tailed Jackrabbit - Tom Spinker, Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark - Gordon Warrick
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2016