Description - Covering over 1,800 acres, McKay Creek NWR lies adjacent to the plains and Blue Mountains of arid northeastern Oregon. Located 8 miles south of Pendleton, the refuge serves as a sanctuary and breeding ground for birds.
It supports peak populations of 10,000 winter waterfowl, mainly mallards and Canada geese. Several species of shore birds and wading birds frequent the refuge, as do golden and bald eagles, kestrels, Northern harriers, and red-tailed and Swainson's hawks.
The thick underbrush and wooded areas surrounding the reservoir provide habitat for many species of song birds. Mule deer, coyote, bobcats, and California quail also occur on the refuge.
- 5 miles south of the town of Pendleton, Oregon, the refuge receives almost 50,000 annual visitors, most during the summer months.
Upland bird hunting remains popular, with as many as 500 hunters each year pursuing pheasant and quail. Other visitors simply enjoy driving, walking, picnicking or observing the abundant wildlife and scenic beauty.
Recreation - Scenic driving, walking, picnicking and observing wildlife are popular recreational activities in McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Pheasant and quail hunting is also popular.
Climate - Eastern Oregon is generally high desert broken by several mountain ranges. Annual precipitation accumulates to less than 10 inches except for in the mountain ranges which receive higher amounts of winter snow and summer rain. Eastern Oregon experiences much greater temperature extremes than Western Oregon. Summer temperatures often reach 90 degrees F at the lower elevations and winter temperatures commonly drop well below freezing.
McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located in northeastern Oregon near Pendleton. Directions: From Pendleton, take Highway 395 south toward the town of Pilot Rock. The refuge entrance is approximately 8 miles from Pendleton.