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

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


Features

  • 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

    Badgers

    Tough, grizzled, occasionally grouchy, the badger is the curmudgeon next door—gruff but a good guy with an interesting life story to tell.

    Badgers

  • 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

The Environment

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

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
I Found A Bird . . .

Bird Rescue

Fledgling

We constantly get calls from people wanting us to take a lost or injured bird. Unfortunately, we do not have the capability to rehabilitate wildlife. Even more unfortunate is that, in many instances, the bird doesn’t need rescuing. Here’s a handy decision tree to help you determine what to do with the bird you found.

Bird Rescue

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Umatilla 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