Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you do the following:

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on all federal lands.
  • Maintain a safe distance between yourself and other groups.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick


Features

  • Coots

    American Coots

    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.

    American Coots

  • Black-billed Magpie Promo

    Black-billed Magpie

    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.

    Black-billed Magpies

  • Osprey & Fish

    Ospreys

    If you’ve got water, there’s a good chance you’ve got an osprey, or “fish hawk.” Lucky you.

    Ospreys

Of Note

Bull Trout Research

Bull Trout

One of the many uses of national wildlife refuges is scientific research into the lives and needs of wildlife, both by FWS researchers, the academic world and occasionally private researchers. On McNary NWR, the FWS has been conducting research into bull trout. Bull trout are salmonid native to the Northwest and are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. On the Walla Walla River, bull trout are captured, PIT tagged (Passive Integrated Transponder), and released back to the river. As the trout move up and down the river (or not), each time they pass by a PIT tag reader, their movement is noted, and FWS scientists in Vancouver, Washington, can track their movements. By knowing how, where and when the bull trout are moving, the FWS can devise and refine plans for their recovery. Just one of the many beneficial uses of your national wildlife refuges.

Ospreys & Baling Twine

Osprey

Osprey are common along our rivers and lakes—anywhere there is water and fish. Unlike most other birds, they make little attempt to hide their nests, making it easy to follow a nest from egg laying right through the young leaving the nest to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, the manner in which ospreys build their nests clashes with our propensity to litter. In the wild, ospreys often line their nests with lichens, mosses and grasses. However, they will readily use substitute materials, which, sadly, often means baling twine and fishing line. The problem is it can kill them. All too often, they become entangled in the line, suffering gruesome deaths by strangulation or starvation. Researchers at the University of Montana estimate that as much as 10 to 30 percent of osprey chicks and adults in some areas are killed by this baling twine, fish nets, or fishing line. Every year, we’re called to rescue an entangled osprey, but we often arrive too late, or don’t have the resources to pull off a rescue. Many utility companies, such as the Benton REA, have been wonderful partners in helping us rescue ospreys, but we really need your help. When you’re outside, pick up any twine, rope, fishing line, etc.—you may just be saving one of these magnificent birds from a cruel death.

University of Montana Osprey Project
It's A Great Time For Wildlife

Watching Wildlife

Deer

Want to see more animals on your trip to McNary National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

McNary National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System

NWRS Logo

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