Malheur Musings
July 2020
Hummingbirds are a joyous sight at Refuge Headquarters and we are fortunate here to see a variety of species throughout the season. This female calliope and male black-chinned are showing off, but is if for one another or the camera? Likely, the male black-chinned was chasing this female from the nearby feeder as they can be very territorial throughout the breeding season.
Photo by Loree Johnson
These last few months have been nothing if not an opportunity for deep reflection, learning and growth. This has been as true for me as an individual as it has been collectively as a Country and even as an organization. As you may well be familiar, it is the mission of the Friends of Malheur NWR to promote and conserve the cultural and natural resources of the Refuge through education, outreach and advocacy. It would be easy enough to think that FOMR exists solely as an environmental advocacy organization, but this can not be true as it is impossible to separate environmental justice from social justice.

It is because of this recognition that in the earlier months of 2020, a few members of our Board came together to discuss the need for FOMR to develop and abide by a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement . On May 26, 2020, this resolution received a favorable vote to be accepted as a set of guiding principles for our organization.

As I stated in a recent post across our social media platforms, 'We recognize that for too long, outdoor recreation and appreciation has been inequitable and even exclusionary to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).' Our organization is committed to participating in turning the tide of injustice to one of inclusivity and equity. Awareness to the reality of this within the birding community was perfectly represented by #BlackBirdersWeek. We hope that you, our Friends, will support these efforts within your own birding and outdoor recreation communities. We will strive to use our platform to raise the voices of and make more space for BIPOC naturalists, scientists and birders.

As we grow in our efforts to expand our DEI work, we know there is much to be done. So we are learning, along with many, how to move forward with the important work of doing this for BIPOC. What I can say, is that now, we are consciously starting this work by making space for and elevating the voices of BIPOC. We are not interested in marginalizing these communities further by telling anyone what we want to do for them. In the coming months we will spend time nurturing relationships, listening, and making plans through partnership and collaboration.
As always, Thank you for being a Friend.

Janelle L Wicks
FOMR Executive Director
Conservation Corner
By James Pearson; MNWR Fisheries Biologist

As I wrap up my Ph.D I wanted to give a brief description of my work, a quick synopsis of my results, and describe how these results have changed our thinking about restoration in Malheur Lake. Malheur Lake is large (≈ 19,600 ha) and shallow (average depth ≈ 0.58 m; max depth ≈ 1.26 m), and therefore to better understand how Malheur Lake should function I first tried to get a basic understanding of shallow lakes in general. READ MORE
By Alexa Martinez; MNWR Wildlife Biologist

The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has affected every single one of us in many ways. At Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, we were issued a total of nine weeks, for a stay at home quarantine. This was difficult for those of us who generally look forward to spring fieldwork. READ MORE
By Teresa Wicks

Portland Audubon’s Eastern Oregon Field Biologist, Teresa Wicks, has been compiling a weekly bird list. We have been sharing that list every Friday on the @MalheurFriends Facebook page as a part of our collaborative Harney@Home campaign. For more of Teresa’s observations and field experiences you can follow @RestoreMalheur on Facebook and catch the occasional article from her in our monthly Malheur Musings newsletter.

The combined list for June totals 159 species! See the List Here.
Programs & Events
Events have gone virtual until further notice.
TOMORROW NIGHT - Participate in our Virtual Trivia night (via Zoom)!

Four Rounds, 5 questions each:
Malheur Trivia - Burns Paiute Themed
Bird Photo ID Round
Bird Call Audio Round
Bird Trivia - All American Birds

Form a team (2-5 ppl), pick a clever name and register today!

Questions? Visit the Facebook Event Page or email hosts:
Janelle, and Teresa,
Malheur Symphony Photographic Experience is now available on YouTube!
Harney@Home YouTube Playlist is where you can find virtual bird walks and more!

While non-essetial travel restrictions remain in place please enjoy our ongoing #HarneyatHome series:
Click on the image above to fill out a survey and help determine the details of our
2020 Friends (virtual) Gathering!

Donations are being accepted for the Virtual Auction! Current Contributors include:
Various FOMR Board Members

If you own a business or are a creative who would like to contribute something to the Auction please email Janelle at
By Janelle Wicks

On May 26th, 2020, the Friends of Malheur NWR's Executive Committee unanimously approved the adoption of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement. It took 2 months to workshop and craft before putting it to a vote. We are proud of its assertions and are committed to its principles.

Our public lands belong to everyone. The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge support appropriate access to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for all people, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity or cultural background.

The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge strive to accomplish this through:
– Working toward environmental equity so that all cultures present within the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge community are recognized, honored and fully included in all Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge activities and programs.
– Ensuring cultural inclusion within our Board of Directors and staff.
– Utilizing a diversity of volunteers to accomplish a broad range of organizational activities consistent with the management of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

READ MORE about our commitment to DEI and racial justice as it intersects with our work in environmental stewardship and advocacy. Here you will also find resources collected from #BlackBirdersWeek and a short survey to share your thoughts with us.
Action Item: Protect Bears and other Alaskan Wildlife
The Trump Administration is proposing to eliminate protections for bears and other animals on National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska. Shortly after finalizing their policy that permits the killing of denning bear cubs and wolf pups in Alaska, the administration has moved to reverse existing protections for bears and other wildlife on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The Trump proposal would allow bear-baiting–or the use of bait stations to lure bears to be gunned down–and the use of leghold traps on the Refuge. These abdications of oversight on National Refuge System lands are part of a larger push to open or expand hunting on 97 refuges. Specifically in Alaska, the Trump Administration is actively targeting efforts by the previous administration to protect wildlife on federal lands against efforts by the state to radically control bears, wolves, and other carnivores to artificially boost ungulates. National Wildlife Refuge lands are held in the public trust to be preserved for the benefit of future generations. Allowing the use of "bait stations" and leghold traps is not in keeping with that mission. Please submit your comment today opposing this proposed weakening of existing protections. Will you join us and write a letter? Click HERE
Action Item: Preserve the Duck Stamp
We all love seeing waterfowl in their natural habitat. This is one reason why the Duck Stamp program has always been successful: depictions of ducks and other birds showing off their true majesty in nature. Now, the Fish & Wildlife Service wants to make it mandatory for artists to include depictions of hunting in the stamp artwork as well. Not only will this take away from the enjoyment of the art, but it could also result in less revenue through fewer Duck Stamp sales, which means less habitat protection.

You can help prevent this from happening. If you have bought Duck Stamps in the past few years and are now re-thinking this decision in light of the mandatory hunting depictions, please contact attorney Adam Kreger to see how you can be involved. He can be reached at
June's Most Popular
Every month there is excellent content on the Friends Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Here We will feature the most popular post of the month.

Migrant Monday (6/1) Photos by Dan Streiffert
Migrant Monday: Common nighthawks are back! These slight and dark bodied aerial foragers are often heard before they are seen. Their call is described as a sharp, electric or buzzy 'peent' which they vocalize while in flight.

Once you hear them and turn your head up to catch a glimpse you will notice white bands past the bend of their wings. It may be dark since they are often most active at dusk.
These birds do not build a nest and instead lay a clutch of 2 eggs directly on the ground. This nesting behavior along with the reduction of available flying insects is thought to largely explain their status as a species in 'Steep Decline'. Research shows the population of common nighthawks has gone down 61% since 1966 at a rate of ~2%/yr. One thing you can do to help these birds in your area is to advocate for the use of less pesticides which drastically reduce their food sources.
This post reached over 1,700 people through Facebook! Follow our page, @Malheurfriends , to see more great content like this!
Membership Minute
The sustaining support of our members is more imoportant than ever.
 If you are unsure of your Membership status you can email us at today!
2020 Membership Appreciation

All New and Renewing Members will receive an exclusive FOMR Member 2020 clear decal.

Renewing Members that BUMP up a Membership level will receive a new Malheur BUMPer sticker. (Pictured below)

New and Renewing Members that sign up at the Patron ($200), Steward ($500) or Benefactor ($1,000) levels are eligible for specialty gifts! You can opt out of receiving your gift when you fill out your membership form online or in person.

Gifts will include Malheur specialty coffee roasted by Clawfoot Coffee Roasters in Klamath Falls and 1 or 2 FOMR hand-thrown ceramic Mugs by Deneen Pottery. Benefactor Members will also receive a copy of the Malheur Symphony on CD.
Current Membership Total: 728!
GIFT A MEMBERSHIP to the Malheur enthusiast and Bird lover in your life! Membership is a great way to keep up with and support the ongoing work of our organization! All you have to do is fill out THIS FORM with the recipient's name and contact information and they will be informed of their Membership!
Volunteer with Friends
By Peter Pearsall

Please welcome Liz Jones, Friends of Malheur Refuge’s newest board member! Born in Springfield, OR, and raised in Eugene, Liz attended the University of Oregon and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of her life. READ MORE
Weekend Stewardship Activities

Weekend Work Parties on Malheur NWR in 2020! * PENDING*
  • September 18th - 20th This Friends fall stewardship weekend is the perfect time of year to get some work done on the Refuge! Work would include trash pick-up along the FOMR Adopt-a-Highway section of 205, tending to the Frenchglen wayside, some landscaping care and perhaps the hanging of 8 bat boxes.
Crane's Nest Nature Center & Store
Unstaffed until further notice

The Online Nature Store is now operational and offering a selection of our favorite Malheur NWR and Friends of MNWR goodies*!
*Some product images are still being produced and will be posted soon
Stay cool or cozy in these Malheur NWR Crane & Colt t-shirts!
These classic Malheur NWR Crane and colt t-shirts are a must have wardrobe item to show off your support of the Refuge. Perhaps your friend with an upcoming birthday is missing Malheur? Maybe your shirt is upwards of 10 yrs old and is ready for a refresh? Short and long sleeve styles both come in 3 colors: Sage, Light blue and Grey!
Malheur HQ Visitor Center
Unstaffed until further notice
Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge |  
36391 Sodhouse Lane
Princeton, OR 97721