Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and Seep Lakes Wildlife Area

Othello, Washington

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The 23,000 acres of the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge are scattered around several units, including the Marsh units abutting the Seep Lakes Wildlife Area. This site makes it easy to imagine what it was like before the dams were built for agricultural irrigation. This varied habitat, located at a strategic spot on the Pacific Flyway, is well-suited to attract a wide diversity of bird life, including more than 100,000 ducks that overwinter here. The refuge is so important to migrating and overwintering birds that Audubon Washington has designated it as an Important Bird Area. Habitats: Shrub-steppe, cliff, riparian, lakes, grassland, wetland, ponds. Specialty birds: Common Loon; American White Pelican; Great Egret; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Golden and Bald Eagles; Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks; Sandhill Crane; American Avocet; Black-necked Stilt; Solitary Sandpiper; Long-billed Curlew; Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers; Wilson’s and Rednecked Phalaropes; Bonaparte’s Gull; Forster’s Tern; Short-eared and Burrowing Owls; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Cassin’s Vireo; Sage Thrasher; Sage Sparrow.
Birding Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Birding Washington

by Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff (Falcon Guides)

The 23,000 acres of the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge are scattered around several units, including the Marsh units abutting the Seep Lakes Wildlife Area. This site makes it easy to imagine what it was like before the dams were built for agricultural irrigation. This varied habitat, located at a strategic spot on the Pacific Flyway, is well-suited to attract a wide diversity of bird life, including more than 100,000 ducks that overwinter here. The refuge is so important to migrating and overwintering birds that Audubon Washington has designated it as an Important Bird Area. Habitats: Shrub-steppe, cliff, riparian, lakes, grassland, wetland, ponds.

Specialty birds: Common Loon; American White Pelican; Great Egret; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Golden and Bald Eagles; Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks; Sandhill Crane; American Avocet; Black-necked Stilt; Solitary Sandpiper; Long-billed Curlew; Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers; Wilson’s and Rednecked Phalaropes; Bonaparte’s Gull; Forster’s Tern; Short-eared and Burrowing Owls; Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds; Cassin’s Vireo; Sage Thrasher; Sage Sparrow.

©  Rob and Natalie McNair-Huff/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Othello
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best spring and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 1,000 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Driving Directions: Directions to Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and Seep Lakes Wildlife Area

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May 2018