Message from the Board

By Pam Johnson

The Friends of Camas have offered a variety of public activities throughout the years. This year, May brought the first activity with the annual fundraising Birdathon. This competition is hosted by the Friends of Camas and the Snake River Audubon. The proceeds from the contest are split between the two organizations. Birders spend a day birding at their favorite National Wildlife Refuge or State Wildlife Management Area to see how many species of birds they can find.

This year ten birders, 4 individuals, and 3 teams of 2 entered the contest.  A total of 138 species of birds were observed.  Birdathon contestants compete three different ways:  who can raise the most money, who sees the most bird species, and who comes closest to guessing how many total species will be seen. Karl Bohan raised the most money with $4,446 of pledges/donations received.  The team of Carolyn Bishop and Kit Struthers saw the most birds with 98 different species observed.  Chuck Trost and Mark DeHaan’s team estimated 140 species would be seen and came closest to the actual number of 138. The Birdathon raised a gross of $9,064.95, and after expenses, each organization will net $4,532.32.  

Other activities to keep a lookout for this year include: 

The ‘Birds, Bugles & Brunch’ takes place in September.  The main activity of this event is a hayride through part of the Refuge to listen for elk bugling.  A variety of other activities are also offered, climaxing with a brunch for all. 

‘Come to Roost’ takes place in February.  This event is centered on the bald eagles that use the Refuge every winter as a roosting area.  Attendees gather at the Refuge in the evening to watch the eagles return to the roost. Spotting scopes are available for closer views and hot drinks are supplied.

Times vary for these activities, so be sure to check the website often for exact dates and times.

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen, 

Camas National Wildlife Refuge June 22, 2021

Camas NWR continues to be very dry and with current weather, it looks like we will stay that way for the foreseeable future.  Really only 4 ponds have water in them, as we are relying on outwells to pump water but they are struggling to keep in this heat and no precipitation. 

Since we are no into the latter part of June, the songbird migration has moved on through and the birds you can see here now are likely nesting.  Black-headed grosbeaks, lazuli buntings, and western tanagers can be found in the trees around headquarters.

This is the time of the year where we begin to see new life on the Refuge.  We have been seeing elk calves and white-tail fawns.  Typically any waterfowl broods will be making themselves visible in the next week or two.

One of the current highlights on the Refuge is the pollinator garden is hitting full bloom stage.  This really should attract different birds, butterflies, and bees.  When visiting the Refuge make sure to walk through this garden and see what you can find.

What's New 

Friends of Camas NWR Photography Contest

Time to get out to take your amazing pictures! 

Please practice social distancing!

     The Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the natural wonders of Eastern Idaho wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas with its fifth annual photography contest.   Photographs of birds, other wildlife and flora, as well as scenic images may be submitted at  through August 31, 2021.  See complete rules and submission form at

     Entrants may submit up to five photographs taken at the Southeast Idaho Refuge Management Complex (Camas NWR, Bear Lake NWR, Gray’s Lake NWR, Oxford Slough WPA) and Idaho Fish and Game-managed areas (Mud Lake WMA, Market Lake WMA, and Deer Parks WMA [including Cartier Slough]). 

     A Grand Prize of $50 will be awarded.

     First prize will be a Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter and a ‘camera lens’ mug.

     Second prize will be a ‘camera lens’ mug.

     Third place will be a Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter.

     All prize winners and honorable mention will receive ribbons.




Friends of Camas NWR Inc. 
2150 E 2350 N
Hamer, ID 83425