WC recently spent some time in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the place the Bundy clan proposed to privatize in their feeble insurrection. WC is happy to report that the wildlife there seems to have emerged from whole wretched ordeal in fairly good shape. Which is more than can be said for the Refuge headquarters, which is still closed for repairs.
But here are some random photos from WC’s trip, showcasing the incredible variety of wildlife that the Refuge offers, out in the middle of the Oregon Desert.
It’s pretty appropriate to find a Sage Thrasher, the emblematic species of the sagebrush steppe, perched on a sign on the border of a refuge.
Certainly the most dramatic swallow species, with the long, split tail and the beautiful orange highlights. And another ferocious bug-eating bird.
Readers may recall that Mrs. WC spotted a Burrowing Owl nest earlier this year; WC is happy to report the parents have raised five kids.
WC has written about Common Nighthawks, but can’t resist including one more photo.
Vultures get no respect. But the world would be a lot messier without them. Carrion my wayward son.1
Malheur is the breeding grounds for thousands of White-faced Ibis, who fly in singles and flocks up to 50 birds in all directions all the time. In fact, there were so many Ibis we’ll have a look at another one.
WC doesn’t know why Ibis toss their prey in the air like this to swallow it. But it’s very impressive to watch.
WC will have to add a new category to the blog, “Yet Another Snipe Photo,” but WC finds the bird irresistible for photography.
WC got too near a a Yellow Warbler nest, and was carefully led away by the female, who played the injured bird card with considerable skill.
WC can’t top that, so will stop there. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a gem. It’s a green oasis in the sagebrush brown of the Oregon Desert, and deserves better protection from thugs and yahoos like the Bundy clan.