Friday, June 17, 2016

My Summer at Malheur - Week One: Meeting the Locals / JUNE 12 - 17, 2016

This summer I am working at Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge as and interns with Friends of Malheur. I'll be conducting surveys and doing a variety of other duties for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as working at Malheur Field Station, where I am lodging. It has already been a wild ride! I've conducted avian brood surveys in various water impoundments within the refuge and surveyed for milkweed and Monarch Butterflies. I am accessing parts of the refuge I've never seen before and observing gobs of amazing wildlife. The birds are amazing. I saw long-tailed weasel from my bedroom window and discovered a bobcat while taking a morning stroll around the field station. I live in a zoo, but the humans are the captives (held captive by swarms of mosquitos). I will dearly miss Emily, Jasper, and Nico girl during these 7 weeks, but its going to be great to get to know the local inhabitants, both human and otherwise.

a welcoming Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

my fellow intern, Thomas
working on ID
Malheur Field Station, my home for the next 2 months
working on ID 

Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)

Castilleja spp.
conducting Malheur NWR impoundment brood surveys
Snowy egret (Egretta thula)
Thomas is fond of damselflies

male Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus), one of the breeding pair that live around the field stationLook at those horns!

Jabba the Nighthawk 

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

South Coyote Butte
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) 

Caspian Tern pair (Hydroprogne caspia)
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

breeding pair of Burrowing Owls
Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus)

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
fledgling and adult on nest, another fledgling was soaring above the nest

a whiny fledgling

American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) and Great Egrets (Ardea alba)
a Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) getting in on the action

Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) on the P-Ranch fire lookout
Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) 

Steens Mountain
Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) 

Cobalt Milkweed Beetle (Chrysochus cobaltinus)

2nd Instar Monarch caterpiller (Danaus plexippus

a sleepy bunny (Sylvilagus nuttallii) 
someone left their skin lying around again
a very vocal coyote (Canus latrans). I named him Little Richard.

Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)
California Quail (Callipepla californica)
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
Malheur NWR Haadquarters is still closed to the public following the illegal occupation, but we get to bird there. 
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)
This is the biggest Great Horned Owl brood I've ever seen. In total there are 5 fledglings at Malheur HQ. 


  1. Wow. Super account Jesse, hope you have the stamina to keep them coming!

  2. Asclepias speciosa :) glad to see someone is monitoring the milkweed and monarch larvae this year. I hope the population is successful this year.
    Enjoy your time there!