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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

Species Spotlight

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

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge 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

National Wildlife Refuge System

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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

  • International Migratory Bird Day

    Lazuli BuntingMay 13, 2017

    In 2017, International Migratory Bird Day will focus on the importance of stopover sites. When birds migrate between nesting and wintering sites, they don’t just stop anywhere; they rely on a handful of resource-rich and strategically located stopover sites where they may double their body weight as they acquire the energy-rich fat stores needed to fly thousands of kilometers across continents and oceans. Protecting these stopover sites and their habitats isn’t about us being benevolent to birds; their importance to us cannot be overstated. Some bird species provide practical solutions to problems, such as the need for insect and rodent control. Others disperse seeds, helping to revegetate disturbed areas. Others help with pollination, ensuring that we are graced with flowering plants, trees and shrubs. And beyond the utilitarian, birds are inspirations for the arts. For example, Amadeus Mozart had a pet starling that motivated the opening theme of the Third Movement of his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. Join us at Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge on May 13, 8:00 to 1:00, to celebrate the life of birds. See flyer below for more information.

    International Migratory Bird Day 2017
  • 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
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: Apr 14, 2017
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