Bird List – July 2020

List compiled by Teresa Wicks/ Photo by Loree Johnson

Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Field Biologist, Teresa Wicks, has been compiling a weekly bird list. We have been sharing that list on the @MalheurFriends Facebook page as a part of our collaborative Harney@Home campaign. For more of Teresa’s observations and field experiences you can follow @RestoreMalheur on Facebook and catch the occasional article from her in our monthly Malheur Musings newsletter.

The combined list for July totals 138 species!

american avocet
american bittern
american coot
american crow
american goldfinch
american kestrel
american robin
american white pelican
american wigeon
ash-throated flycatcher
bald eagle
bank swallow
barn swallow
belted kingfisher
bewick’s wren
black tern
black-billed magpie
black-chinned hummingbird
black-crowned night-heron
black-headed grosbeak
black-necked stilt
black-throated gray warbler
black-throated sparrow
blue-gray gnatcatcher
blue-winged teal
brewer’s blackbird
brewer’s sparrow
brown-headed cowbird
bullock’s oriole
burrowing owl
california gull
california quail
canada goose
canyon wren
caspian tern
cedar waxwing
chipping sparrow
cinnamon teal
clark’s grebe
cliff swallow
common merganser
common nighthawk
common raven
common yellowthroat
double-crested cormorant
eared grebe
eastern kingbird
eurasian collared-dove
european starling
ferruginous hawk
forster’s tern
franklin’s gull
golden eagle
gray flycatcher
great egret
great horned owl
greater yellowlegs
green-winged teal
hooded merganser
horned grebe
house finch
house sparrow
house wren
lazuli bunting
least sandpiper
lesser goldfinch
lesser yellowlegs
loggerhead shrike
long-billed curlew
long-billed dowitcher
long-eared owl
marsh wren
mourning dove
northern flicker
northern harrier
northern pintail
northern rough-winged swallow
northern shoveler
orange-crowned warbler
peregrine falcon
pied-billed grebe
prairie falcon
red-breasted nuthatch
red-necked phalarope
red-tailed hawk
red-winged blackbird
ring-billed gull
ring-necked duck
ring-necked pheasant
rock pigeon
rock wren
ruddy duck
rufous hummingbird
sage thrasher
sagebrush sparrow
sandhill crane
savannah sparrow
say’s phoebe
short-eared owl
snowy egret
song sparrow
spotted sandpiper
spotted towhee
swainson’s hawk
tree swallow
trumpeter swan
turkey vulture
vesper sparrow
violet-green swallow
virginia rail
warbling vireo
western bluebird
western grebe
western kingbird
western meadowlark
western sandpiper
western tanager
western  wood-pewee
white-faced ibis
willow flycatcher
wilson’s phalarope
wilson’s snipe
wood duck
yellow warbler
yellow-breasted chat
yellow-headed blackbird

For more information about bird sightings and migration through Malheur National Wildlife Refuge please visit our Seasons of Wildlife Page.

Friends Virtual Gathering

The Friends of Malheur NWR’s annual gathering is going virtual! As part of our Harney@Home campaign and in celebration of Malheur NWR we are bringing you a full week of events designed to engage and entertain you, our Friends!

Additional details and updates will be posted regularly to our Facebook page. You can follow us @MalheurFriends. If you have questions about any of the events please email us,

All of the Events listed below are linked directly to their Registration pages. If you do not register in advance you may still have the opportunity to watch LIVE via Facebook!

Details & Registration Links:
Trumpeter Swan Presentation
Principles & Pitfalls of Bird ID
Sandhill Cranes Presentation
Birding Malheur & Beyond
Basic Shorebird ID

This may be the birdiest concert you ever have the opportunity to attend! Oregon-based singer-songwriter specializing in poetic piano pop. Stephan is currently working on their next full-length album, Sparkbird, and a young adult novel set at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon.

This concert will be INTERACTIVE – stay tuned for details.

Play for SWAG! I <3 Malheur bumper stickers are on the line!

See: The Trumpeter Swan Society, Kenn Kaufman, International Crane Foundation, Stephan Nance Music, East Cascades Audubon Society

All events will be held over Zoom and are FREE but donations to support the Friends of Malheur NWR are strongly encouraged and deeply appreciated.

Bird List – June 2020

List compiled by Teresa Wicks

Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Field Biologist, Teresa Wicks, has been compiling a weekly bird list. We have been sharing that list every Friday on the @MalheurFriends Facebook page as a part of our collaborative Harney@Home campaign. For more of Teresa’s observations and field experiences you can follow @RestoreMalheur on Facebook and catch the occasional article from her in our monthly Malheur Musings newsletter.

The combined list for June totals 159 species!

American Avocet
American Bittern
American Coot
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Kestrel
American Redstart
American Robin
American white pelican
American Wigeon
Ash-throated flycatcher
Bald Eagle
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Belted Kingfisher
Bewick’s Wren
Black Tern
Black-and-White Warbler
Black-billed Magpie
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-necked Stilt
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-throated Sparrow
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-winged teal
Brewer’s Blackbird
Brewer’s sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock’s Oriole
Burrowing owl
California Quail
Canada Goose
Canyon Wren
Caspian Tern
Cassin’s Vireo
Cedar Waxwing
Chipping Sparrow
Cinnamon Teal
Clark’s Grebe
Cliff Swallow
Common Goldeneye
Common Loon
Common Merganser
Common Nighthawk
Common Poorwill
Common Raven
Common Yellowthroat
Double-crested Cormorant
Downy Woodpecker
Eared Grebe
Eastern Kingbird
Eurasian Collared-Dove
European Starling
Evening Grosbeak
Ferruginous Hawk
Forester’s Tern
Franklin’s Gull
Golden Eagle
Grasshopper Sparrow
Gray Catbird
Gray Flycatcher
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Great Horned Owl
Greater Yellowlegs
Green-tailed Towhee
Green-winged Teal
Horned Grebe
Horned Lark
Horned Lark fledglings!
House Finch
House Sparrow
House Wren
Lark Sparrow
Lazuli Bunting
Least Flycatcher
Lesser Goldfinch
Lesser Scaup
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Loggerhead Shrike
Long-billed Curlew
Long-eared Owl
Macgillivray’s Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Marsh Wren
Mourning Dove
Northern Flicker
Northern Harrier
northern harrier
Northern Pintail
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Northern Shoveler
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Pacific Wren
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Pied-billed Grebe
Pine Siskin
Prairie Falcon
Red-Breasted Nuthatch
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-winged Blackbird
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-necked Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Rock Pigeon
Rock Wren
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Ruddy Duck
Sage Thrasher
Sagebrush Sparrow
Sandhill Crane
Savannah Sparrow
Say’s Pheobe
Short-eared Owl
Snowy Egret
Song Sparrow
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Towhee
Swainson’s Hawk
Swainson’s Thrush
Townsend’s Solitaire
Tree Swallow
Trumpeter Swan
Turkey Vulture
Vesper Sparrow
Violet-green Swallow
Virginia Rail
Warbling Vireo
Western Bluebird
Western Grebe
Western Kingbird
Western Meadowlark
Western Tanager
Western Wood-Pewee
White-crowned Sparrow
White-faced Ibis
Willow Flycatcher
Wilson’s Phalarope
Wilson’s Snipe
Wilson’s Warbler
Wood Duck
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Learning & Doing Better. Together.

Written by Janelle Wicks

On May 26th, 2020, the Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (FOMR) Executive Committee unanimously approved the adoption of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement. It took 2 months to workshop and craft before putting it to a vote. We are proud of its assertions and are committed to its principles.

Our public lands belong to everyone. The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge support appropriate access to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for all people, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity or cultural background.

The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge strive to accomplish this through:
– Working toward environmental equity so that all cultures present within the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge community are recognized, honored and fully included in all Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge activities and programs.
– Ensuring cultural inclusion within our Board of Directors and staff.
– Utilizing a diversity of volunteers to accomplish a broad range of organizational activities consistent with the management of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Accepted by the Board by unanimous affirmative vote on May 26th, 2020

Pretty words, but what does it mean?

We live in a world where birding feels exclusionary to many. We live in a world where women still feel unsafe outdoors. We live in a world where a BIPOC individual is commonly harassed while recreating. These realities do not have to be seen or experienced by any of us personally for them to be true and deeply impact a person’s experience in spaces that exist for everyone, equally.

As we all learn to be better allies to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and advocate for changes to a system that upholds inequities and oppression we must acknowledge these realities. We must actively work to dismantle the system which upholds them. We believe that it is our responsibility to be an active participant, and where appropriate a leader, in opposing of systemic racism, misogyny, homophobia and able-ism on Public Lands.

We must actively support the movement seeking justice for lives lost and those still threatened. We are fully committed to making space for and lifting the voices of black and indigenous people of color within our birding communities and more broadly. We believe in the principle that Public Lands and natural spaces should be safe and welcoming for all people.

The Friends of Malheur NWR are starting this journey. We are moved by the moment and were inspired by #BlackBirdersWeek. We are learning that we have much to learn, but we are ready. In the coming months we will be having candid conversations with our partners about what we can do to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in everything that we do.

Do you have 5 minutes?
Please take THIS SURVEY to help us move this work forward.

If you missed #BlackBirdersWeek there are still plenty of ways to tap into the discussions that were had and follow the incredible folx who put it together!

Search any of the hashtags above on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see great #BlackBirdersWeek content.

Lastly, here is an incredible list of resources that has been compiled by Michigan Audubon Society in their Reflection on Black Birders Week.

Rules for the Black Birdwatcher – With Drew Lanham
BirdNote. Feb. 28, 2015

Birding While Black
By J. Drew Lanham. Literary Hub; Sept. 22, 2016

Bird-Watching While Black: A Wildlife Ecologist Shares His Tips | Short Film Showcase
National Geographic. Nov. 6, 2016

The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair With Nature
By J. Drew Lanham. June 13, 2017

‘Black Birders Week’ Promotes Diversity and Takes on Racism in the Outdoors
By Jillian Mock, National Audubon Society, June 1, 2020

First, Listen. Then, Learn: Anti-Racism Resources For White People
By Julia Wuench. Forbes; June 2, 2020

These Black nature lovers are busting stereotypes, one cool bird at a time
By AJ Willingham. CNN; June 3, 2020

Black Birders Week: An Ode to Our Allies
By Crystal Johnson. June 4, 2020

Birding While Black: A Candid Conversation — Session One
National Audubon Society Facebook Live; June 4, 2020

Birding While Black: A Candid Conversation — Session Two
National Audubon Society Facebook Live; June 4, 2020

Black Birding Is About Hope
By Kathleen Hou. The Cut; June 4, 2020

7 Anti-Racist Books Recommended by Educators and Activists
By The Editors. The Strategist; June 5, 2020

Racist Birding Incident Sparks Joyful Online Event #BlackBirdersWeek
By Julie Grant. The Allegheny Front; June 5, 2020  

Black Birders Call Out Racism, Say Nature Should Be for Everyone
By Andrea Thompson. Scientific American; June 5, 2020

Birding While Black: Jason Ward On Central Park Video, Racism And His Passion For Birds
Karyn Miller-Medzon produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Peter O’Dowd.
This segment aired on June 9, 2020.

Birds of North America with Jason Ward
Video series following Jason Ward as he travels around the United States meeting birders and bird enthusiasts of all kinds. Currently 24 videos in the series.

Adapting Amid COVID-19

Written by Alexa Martinez/Photos by Teresa Wicks

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has affected every single one of us in many ways. At Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, we were issued a total of nine weeks, for a stay at home quarantine. This was difficult for those of us who generally look forward to spring fieldwork. This pause affected certain projects within the biological program more than others.

Some restoration work, water quality and weather data collection on Malheur Lake went on hold along with not completing shorebird or colonial bird nesting surveys. The limitations of what we can do as refuge staff was definitely a challenge. The feeling of not being able to complete work and give your full attention was very hard to process. There is only so much you can get accomplished on a computer when half of your job is field related.

With that said, I am certainly grateful for the technology we have to allow us to stay connected through shared resources, such as, ZOOM, Microsoft TEAMS, and Google meetings. Being able to have meetings with other biologist in the Pacific Northwest Region and listening to their struggles during this time opened my eyes to see how COVID-19 is affecting the fieldwork for 2020.

I cannot speak for all refuges in the Pacific Northwest Region or throughout the System but I am very grateful for the partnerships Malheur NWR has. Within the wildlife program, we are lucky to have Portland Audubon Society conducting our land bird point count, secretive marsh bird and vegetation surveys on their own at the refuge during these nine weeks. Unfortunately, because some surveys require refuge staff support of direct involvement, we lost the opportunity to test a new colonial water bird protocol in May. The new protocol would help inform the refuge what colonial water bird species continue to utilize Tern Island and what their nest success out on Malheur Lake is. Our spring shorebird survey was put on hold due to COVID and we were not able to record the spring migrant shorebirds for the year. Under the current circumstances, being able to rely on our partners for several data sets not being lost, is better than nothing.

Martinez practicing the colonial nesting waterbird survey protocol on Malheur Lake with Portland Audubon Society volunteer. This is one survey that was not conducted in 2020 due to COVID-19 staffing restrictions.

Other than our partners conducting important biological work, Refuge maintenance staff and their duties are considered essential. This classification has allowed for uninterrupted water management throughout the spring. As the wildlife biologist for the Refuge, staying in close communication with maintenance staff has allowed us to ensure impoundments were receiving the water as needed. The timing is particularly sensitive as the basin receives snowmelt from the Steens Mountain while birds are migrating through on their journey north or settling in to nest here among the wet meadows and riparian areas.

In order to get to where we are now, during the nine weeks of stay home quarantine, different programs (Biology, Maintenance, Visitor Services) at Malheur NWR worked with their supervisor in order to create safety protocols to enhance the safety of staff, partners and visitors. These protocols have allowed us, as necessary, to return to station. It feels good to be back, especially to help where help is need. Of course, the work environment is very different and we are all taking precautions and remind ourselves of our role in maintaining everyone’s safety.  It will take time for things to come back to normal and hopefully we can all learn and move forward from all this in the near future.