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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Malheur‏

May 13th, 2011 · No Comments

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How little I know about nature became apparent to me when on Tuesday I happened to go to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon’s high desert. I went there only because Jeff Mackay, the manager of Hart Mountain National Antelope Reserve, told me about it.

I had never heard of Malheur, which was about 100 miles out of my way. But in spite of my ignorance, it is famous for its tremendous concentration and diversity of wildlife. People have seen more than 320 species of birds and 58 of mammals there. With more than 120,000 acres of wetlands, it is a prime stopping place for birds on the Pacific Flyway.

Malheur reminds me strongly of Ruby Lake NWR in northern Nevada, which I visited first in July 2010 and again on this trip. Marshland is the dominant feature of both reserves, but Malheur has much more.

I was lucky to experience full sun the entire day I explored Malheur. And I was especially lucky to find beautiful birds in that sun.

A Swainson's Hawk Attacks a Small Bird; It Missed

A Red-tailed Hawk Attacks a Small Bird; It Missed

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A Female Ring-Necked Pheasant

A Female Ring-Necked Pheasant

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A Male Ring-Necked Pheasant

A Male Ring-Necked Pheasant

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When my friend Sharon and I returned from Wray last month, we saw several Ring-Necked Pheasants. I tried many times to photograph these colorful birds, all in vain. That’s one reason why I am so glad to have captured this image.

A Sandhill Crane

A Sandhill Crane

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This is the first Sandhill Crane that I ever saw. Now I know why people are so attracted to see migrations of huge herds of them.

A Killdeer Mainly Eats Insects, not Deer

A Killdeer Mainly Eats Insects, not Deer

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To some people the Killdeer’s call sounds like “kill deer.” You can judge for yourself here.

A Great Horned Owl Fledgling

A Great Horned Owl Fledgling

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Now that I know about Malheur, my education is not complete. But I’m learning.

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