Last week the MulchMaids went to eastern Oregon, to one of their favorite places. Their destination, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, hosts hundreds of species of resident and migratory bird species. And it's also a beautiful and remote place to get away from city life for a little while.
What makes the refuge unique is the runoff from the Steens Mountain glaciers that feed the Donner und Blitzen River, even in summer. In the middle of this high desert country, refuge managers have created canals and dikes to control the river's water, filling ponds and wetlands to encourage and support wildlife in every season.
It's a birder's candy store.
The MulchMaids do love looking at birds, but are not very good at it. Suffice it to say the species they spot are always found in the "abundant" or "common" columns of the literature. But they have a great time looking. The place is so chock-full of wildlife it's hard not to see beautiful and exotic species of birds and other creatures all around.
In addition to the few birds I captured above, we spotted Great Horned owls (an adult feeding a youngster), turkey vultures, Wilson's warblers, multiple swift species, mallards, Common coots (there's that "common" again), and the cutest little weasel dancing down the road.