In the news and popular among birders, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters scarcely needs an introduction. Headquarters boasts a list of over 300 bird species, making it one of the premier birding destinations in the country during Spring and Fall migrations.
A visitors center and Nature Store here is staffed by volunteers during the summer. A list of the most recent bird sightings is often posted at the visitors center. Also visit the small museum with its nice collection of mounted bird and mammal specimens.
Headquarters is located about 30 miles south of Burns.
- • Take E Monroe Street (Hwy 78) out of Burns. Travel two miles and turn right on Oregon Highway 205.
- • Head south on Hwy 205 for 24 miles to the Narrows-Princeton Road at the Narrows RV Park and cafe.
- • Head east on Narrows-Princeton Road (Sodhouse Lane) for 6 miles.
- • Turn left at top of hill into the headquarters area
Habitat and Birds
The grounds around headquarters are small, totaling only around 5 acres, but is a green oasis. Mature trees here are magnets for migrating passerines, including a long list of rare vagrants. Marshall Pond is good for water birds. Take the short trail out to the photo blind. A slightly longer trails heads uphill to an overlook. Feeders here attract some interesting birds including flocks of photogenic Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Lazuli Buntings.
Waterfowl and Sandhill Cranes kick off Spring migration starting around mid-March. Passerine migration peaks around Memorial Day and continues into mid-June.
Fall migration is more protracted, with a few species starting to move through as early as late August, while others continue as late as November.
• Malheur National Wildlife Refuge web site
• Friends of Malheur NWR web site