Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Welcome to the Conboy Lake Refuge
The Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located south of the town of Glenwood in Klickitat County, was established in 1964 to provide habitat for migrating and resting waterfowl. Approximately 5,500 acres of the proposed 10,000-acre refuge have been acquired.
Since not all of the lake bed is in the refuge ownership, the lake cannot be managed to provide reliable aquatic habitat. The water level in the lake, which is dependent on natural flooding, is high during the winter and spring and gradually recedes through the summer. By late summer much of the lake is dry and ranchers cut grass growing on the lake bed for hay.
How to Enjoy the Refuge's Bird Life
Over 150 species of birds have been identified on the refuge. You will be most successful at viewing wild birds if you use binoculars or a telescope. This equipment allows you to observe the birds from a distance without disturbing them. You should carry a field guide book to help you with identification.
The best time of the year to see the birds at Conboy Lake is during the spring migration period - from February to April - although some birds are present on the refuge year round. Calm, mild days are better than cold, windy days. Migrating birds usually flock together and actively feed during a good part of the day as they store up energy for the next part of the migration journey. Birds are most active and easily observed in the early mornings and late afternoons.
When looking at a bird, pay close attention to characteristics such as size, color, shape, wing and head markings. Always observe as much as you can first and then refer to your field guide book, because the bird may not remain where you can easily see it for a long period of time.
Bird List Key
This bird list is organized into family and sub-family groups, and the common names and order are in accordance with the Sixth Edition (1983) of the "A.O.U. Checklist of North American Birds".
Sp - Spring, March through May
S - Summer, June through August
F - Fall, September through November
W - Winter, December through February
a - abundant: very numerous
c - common: certain to be seen in proper habitat
u - uncommon: present, but not certain to be seen
o - occasional: occasional; seen only a few times during the season
r - rare: not present every year
x - accidental: outside normal species range
* - birds known to nest locally
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* r r r - ___ Red-necked Grebe - r - - ___ Western Grebe - u - -
BITTERNS AND HERONS Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* o u u - ___ Great Blue Heron c c c c ___ Great Egret - - - - ___ Green Heron - - - -
SWANS, GEESE AND DUCKS Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan u - o o ___ Trumpeter Swan - - - - ___ Greater White-Fronted Goose r - r - ___ Snow Goose r - r r ___ Canada Goose* a u u c ___ Wood Duck c c c - ___ Green-winged Teal* c u u - ___ Mallard* a a c c ___ Northern Pintail c u u c ___ Blue-winged Teal u o o - ___ Cinnamon Teal* c u u - ___ Northern Shoveler o - o o ___ American Wigeon u - o o ___ Canvasback r - - r ___ Redhead o - - o ___ Ring-necked Duck* o o o o ___ Lesser Scaup o - r o ___ Common Goldeneye o - o o ___ Barrow's Goldeneye o - o o ___ Hooded Merganser u u u o ___ Common Merganser o - o o ___ Ruddy Duck r - - r
BIRDS OF PREY Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture u c c r ___ Osprey r r r r ___ Bald Eagle u r u u ___ Northern Harrier c c c o ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o o o o ___ Cooper's Hawk o o o o ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c c c c ___ Rough-legged Hawk o o o u ___ Golden Eagle r r r r ___ American Kestrel* c c u r ___ Peregrine Falcon - - - -
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* r r r r ___ Blue Grouse* o o r r ___ Ruffed Grouse* u u u u ___ Wild Turkey r r r r ___ California Quail* o o o o
CRANES AND RAILS Sp S F W ___ Virginia Rail* u u u r ___ Sora* c u o r ___ American Coot* u u u o ___ Greater Sandhill Crane u u u u
SHOREBIRDS AND GULLS Sp S F W ___ Killdeer* c a c o ___ American Avocet r - - - ___ Greater Yellowlegs r r r - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs - - - - ___ Spotted Sandpiper o o r - ___ Least Sandpiper o o r - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher o r r - ___ Common Snipe* a a c r ___ Wilson's Phalarope c u r - ___ Glaucous-winged Gull - - - - ___ California Gull r r - - ___ Ring-billed Gull r r - - ___ Forster's Tern r r - - ___ Black Tern u u o r ___ Long-billed Curlew u u o r
PIGEONS AND DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove r r - - ___ Band-tailed Pigeon r r u - ___ Mourning Dove* u c u r
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Western Screech-Owl r r r r ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Northern Pygmy-Owl r r r r ___ Short-eared Owl r r o o ___ Northern Saw-whet Owl* r r r r
NIGHTHAWKS Sp S F W ___ Common Nighthawk* u c u -
SWIFTS AND HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Vaux's Swift o u o - ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird u u u - ___ Calliope Hummingbird u c u - ___ Rufous Hummingbird* u c u -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher u u u u
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Lewis' Woodpecker o o o o ___ Red-naped Sapsucker u u u - ___ Downy Woodpecker - - - - ___ Williamson's Sapsucker o o o - ___ Hairy Woodpecker* c c u - ___ White-headed Woodpecker o o o - ___ Northern Flicker* c a c u ___ Three-toed Woodpecker - - - - ___ Black-backed Woodpecker - - - - ___ Pileated Woodpecker o o o o
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher* c c c - ___ Western Wood-Pewee* c c c - ___ Dusky Flycatcher c c c - ___ Willow Flycatcher c c c - ___ Western Flycatcher* c c c - ___ Say's Phoebe c c c - ___ Western Kingbird* c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird* c c c -
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Tree Swallow* c c c - ___ Violet-green Swallow a a a - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow c c c - ___ Bank Swallow u u u - ___ Cliff Swallow* c a a - ___ Barn Swallow* c a a -
JAYS, MAGPIES AND CROWS Sp S F W ___ Steller's Jay o o o o ___ Scrub Jay - - - - ___ Black-billed Magpie u u u u ___ American Crow* c a c c ___ Common Raven u u u u
TITMICE AND NUTHATCHES Sp S F W ___ Black-capped Chickadee c c c u ___ Mountain Chickadee* a a a c ___ Bushtit u u u u ___ Red-breasted Nuthatch* c c c c ___ White-breasted Nuthatch u u u u ___ Pygmy Nuthatch u u u u ___ Brown Creeper u u u u
WRENS Sp S F W ___ House Wren c c c - ___ Winter Wren - - - - ___ Marsh Wren u u - -
DIPPERS Sp S F W ___ American Dipper r r r r
KINGLETS Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet c u u - ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u o o -
BLUEBIRDS AND THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Western Bluebird c c u - ___ Mountain Bluebird c c u - ___ Townsend's Solitaire u o o - ___ Swainson's Thrush o o o - ___ Hermit Thrush o o o - ___ American Robin* a a a u ___ Varied Thrush c c u r
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing r - r -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike o - o o ___ Northern Shrike - - - -
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c u
VIREOS AND WOOD-WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Solitary Vireo* o c o - ___ Warbling Vireo o c o - ___ Nashville Warbler u u u - ___ Yellow Warbler* u u u - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c c u - ___ Townsend's Warbler u u u - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler o o o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c c u -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Western Tanager u u u -
GROSBEAKS, TOWHEES AND SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Black-headed Grosbeak o o o r ___ Lazuli Bunting u u o - ___ Spotted Towhee u u o - ___ Chipping Sparrow* c c u - ___ Vesper Sparrow u u u - ___ Savannah Sparrow u u u - ___ American Tree Sparrow c c u - ___ Fox Sparrow c c u - ___ Song Sparrow* c c u - ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u u u - ___ Golden-crowned Sparrow u u u - ___ White-crowned Sparrow c c u - ___ Dark-eyed Junco* c c u -
BLACKBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* a a c o ___ Western Meadowlark* a a c u ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* o u o - ___ Brewer's Blackbird* a a c - ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* u u u - ___ Bullock's Oriole* - - - -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Pine Grosbeak o o o - ___ Purple Finch u u o - ___ Cassin's Finch u u o - ___ House Finch c c o - ___ Red Crossbill c c u u ___ Pine Siskin c c u - ___ American Goldfinch u c u - ___ Evening Grosbeak o o o r
WEAVER FINCHES Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow r r r -
Refuge Manager Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge 100 Wildlife Refuge Road, Box 5 Glenwood, Washington 98619 Telephone: 509/364-3410This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No date. Birds of the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 9 pages.This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No date. Birds of the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 9 pages. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govconboy.htm (Version 26MAY98).