Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge and Reservoir

Wildlife At Cold Springs Reservoir

Birds flying along the Pacific Flyway, the migration route linking Alaska, Canada, the western states, Mexico and South America, use the Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge as a stopover during their journeys. Thousands of songbirds find food and shelter here during the winter months. Large numbers of waterfowl can be seen as they spend a part of their day resting on the refuge. Bald eagles can be seen during these months, watching the waterfowl, waiting for a possible meal.

As winter fades to spring, most of the waterfowl and songbirds depart for northern nesting grounds. Some mallards, teal, wood ducks, and many songbirds stay to nest and raise their families. When water levels recede in the summer months, look for shorebirds such as lease sandpipers, killdeer, western sandpipers, long-billed dowitchers, and American avocets probing the exposed mudflats for food. Colonial nesting birds, like great blue herons and double-crested cormorants, can also be seen then.

Although migration times provide spectacular wildlife scenes, animal can be seen using the refuge year-round. California and ring-billed gulls are year-round residents, as are California quail and ring-necked pheasant. Look for signs of beaver in riparian areas. Deer can be seen browsing or resting in both the riparian and upland areas. Also look for upland birds, such as the long-billed curlew and burrowing owl.


Site is located about 7 miles east of Hermiston, Oregon off State Road 207.