Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
Malheur is an extensive high desert basin marshland encompassing 187,000 acres of sagebrush, and marsh wetlands combined with riparian corridors and rimrock. Just from the “desert” implication, you can infer that this wetland is really important. It is an oasis to all the wildlife in this southeast corner of Oregon. Two rivers feed the snow and spring runoff ( the Donner and Blitzen rivers) into the Malheur Lake and Harney Lake. Ridges of rimrock border at the edges of marsh where high densities of raptors live. Malheur is a major destination along the Pacific Flyway. Klamath to the west also serves as a major destination. If you visit both then you have it all covered.
Many bird species either reside here or use this place on their migratory routes. Raptor watchers will enjoy the plethora of golden and bald eagles, hawks ( rough-legged, red-tail, harriers), prairie falcons, kestrels, and an abundance of owls such as short-eared, great horned and barn owls. Song bird lovers will enjoy the diversity of species including neotropical songbirds. The refuge headquarters is a great location for the colorful songbirds. Malheur’s alkali playas and mudflats attract the shorebirds. In all, the counts are over 320 species of birds and 58 species of mammals and many rodent, reptile, amphibian and fish species.