Message from the Board

JUNE 2020

By Pam Johnson

Friends of Camas offer a variety of public activities throughout the year.  The first activity of the year is ‘Come to Roost’, which is held in February.  This activity is held in the late afternoon at Camas National Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can observe Bald Eagles flying back to the Refuge to roost for the night in a shelterbelt of trees.  The number of Bald Eagles can vary from 10 to 60 or more.  Spotting scopes are set up to aid visitors in watching this impressive site of the birds flying in and hearing them call to each other. 

There are two activities hosted in May.  The first is the celebration of Migratory Bird Day, this is a day event hosted by Camas NWR and Idaho Fish and Game.  A variety of other groups, including Friends of Camas, participate by providing fun activities for the whole family.  The site of the event alternates each year between Camas NWR and Market Lake WMA.  This May the event was canceled, but it should be up and running for your family to attend next year.

In late May there is a Birdathon, which is hosted by Friends of Camas and Snake River Audubon.  This is a competition where birders, as individuals or teams, 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 7 contestants participated, and they observed 134 bird species. The largest number of species observed by a team was 97.  Proceeds from the event at this time are $3,932,  which will be split between Friends of Camas NWR and Snake River Audubon.

There are no activities scheduled during the summer months, but it is still a great time to visit Camas NWR.  The Refuge has a diverse group of habitats including wetlands, sagebrush uplands, tree shelterbelts, and riparian.  Each of these habitats has a vast assortment of wildflowers, butterflies, insects, birds, and mammals to enjoy.    

September brings the final event.  ‘Birds, Bugles & Brunch’ is hosted by the Friends of Camas at the Refuge.  The main activity is a hayride through part of the Refuge to listen for elk bugling.  There are a variety of other activities like bird walks, birdhouse building, and learning stations for participants to enjoy.  There is also a delicious breakfast brunch offered to all.  We hope to have this event on September 19th, but be sure to check the website later this summer to see if it is on schedule.

Refuge Manager's Notes

Brian Wehausen, 

Camas National Wildlife Refuge May 21, 2020

In the last month, the Refuge has gone through many of its spring changes.  We began to get water flowing down Camas Creek and entering the Refuge on April 21, which to date has allowed us to get at least some level of water to most of our wetlands.  The bad news on that front is we did not get any substantial rains this spring and the snowmelt is just about done for the season.  Flows in Camas Creek have already slowed down substantially and from the looks of it now we may lose that flow in early June.  Hopefully, some good rains are in our forecast and it will keep the creek flowing well into June.

Plenty of bird activity in the last few weeks as well.  Decent numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds and have seen at least one goose brood on Toomey Pond recently.  Songbird migration seems to be in full swing with many of the warbler species now showing up.  Last week saw my first Western kingbird as well.  The trees are now completing leaf out which does bring more birds into the area.  Birding should be good in the next couple of weeks especially if the weather cooperates.

Since the pandemic, our office has been closed to the public and remains that way for the time being.  The Refuge remains open to the public however, from sun up to sundown.  We have had more visitors than normal this spring, mostly because of the pandemic.  Visitors to date have been courteous and respectful of others and we ask that it remain that way, and yes social distance rules to apply on the Refuge.

The Refuge employees are now getting back to work slowly as our field season is upon us and we are trying not to get too far behind.  Social distance applies to us as well and for the time being, we will be doing as much as we can individually.  Lots of things to see so come on out and take a look when you need to get out of the house for a day trip.

What's New 

Friends of Camas NWR Photography Contest

Step right up folks!  It’s time to get out in the fresh air and take your amazing pictures!  Please practice social distancing!

Photo by Ray Thomas

The Friends of Camas National Wildlife Refuge is celebrating the natural wonders of Eastern Idaho wildlife refuges and wildlife management areas with its fourth photography contest.   Photographs of birds, other wildlife and flora, as well as scenic images may be submitted at  through August 31, 2020.  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 an Idaho Birding Trails book.

Second prize will be Friends of Camas NWR neck gaiter.

Third place will be an Idaho Birding Trails book. 

All prize winners and honorable mention will receive ribbons.

The Falcon Cam IS Live

The Falcon Cam this year is a Raven Cam!
For more information go to the Webcam link under the “Projects” tab above to the “F of C Projects” page.  

The webcam is currently experiencing technical issues, please check back later.  




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