Random Shots: Malheur June 2016


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.

Sage Thrasher Showing Off, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Sage Thrasher Showing Off, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

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.

Barn Swallow, Benson Pond, Malheur NWR

Barn Swallow, Benson Pond, Malheur NWR

Certainly the most dramatic swallow species, with the long, split tail and the beautiful orange highlights. And another ferocious bug-eating bird.

Burrowing Owl, Malheur NWR

Burrowing Owl, Malheur NWR

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.

Common Nighthawk Roosting, Malheur NWR

Common Nighthawk Roosting, Malheur NWR

WC has written about Common Nighthawks, but can’t resist including one more photo.

Pronghorn Buck, Malheur NWR

Pronghorn Buck, Malheur NWR

WC doesn’t want another accusation of being a speciest. So here’s the Great Basin’s poster child for evolution.

Turkey Vulture Warming Up, Malheur NWR

Turkey Vulture Warming Up, Malheur NWR

Vultures get no respect. But the world would be a lot messier without them. Carrion my wayward son.1

White-faced Ibis, Malheur NWR

White-faced Ibis, Malheur NWR

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.

White-faced Ibis Tossing Down Lunch, Malheur NWR

White-faced Ibis Tossing Down Lunch, Malheur NWR

WC doesn’t know why Ibis toss their prey in the air like this to swallow it. But it’s very impressive to watch.

Wilson's Snipe, Malheur NWR

Wilson’s Snipe, Malheur NWR

WC will have to add a new category to the blog, “Yet Another Snipe Photo,” but WC finds the bird irresistible for photography.

Yellow Warbler Female, Leading WC Away from the Nest, Malheur NWR

Yellow Warbler Female, Leading WC Away from the Nest, Malheur NWR

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.

American Coot Kid, a Face Only a Mother Could Love, Malheur NWR

American Coot Kid, a Face Only a Mother Could Love, Malheur NWR

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.


  1. WC doesn’t even like Kansas, but hasn’t been able to get this ear worm out of his head for a couple of days now. Maybe a really bad pun will extirpate the idiotic song. 
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One thought on “Random Shots: Malheur June 2016

  1. This was awesome! Thank you for sharing some spectacular photos. And it’s wonderful to hear that at least the wildlife are doing well there (not so much the man-made structures). The Bundy clan and their ilk are vile, loathsome creatures. And that’s the nicest thing I can say about them.

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