Wildlife in Oregon's Outback

Photo: Muskrat at Warner Wetlands

Lake County offers a unique opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. The open, sparsely populated regions of the high desert, the cliffs of Hart Mountain, and the high forest of the Gearhart Wilderness Area are all prime areas to view pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and maybe even a cougar or two, plus much, much more.

Photo: Pronghorn Antelope

The pronghorn antelope is easily identified by its white sides and orange-brown back.  The males have black horns with prongs on the end. In rare instances, females may have smaller horns as well. The males have black cheek patches. They can run at a top speed of aproximately 60 miles an hour. They can be seen across Lake County, most often on the sagebrush covered hills and flats.

Photo: The Prairie Dog

Prarie dogs are common in the fields around Lake County. Although they are most often seen as a pest, their antics can be fun to watch. Their warning "bark" is easily heard.

Photo: Mule Deer

The mule deer's name comes from its large ears. Its coat is ruddy brown in summer and grayish brown in winter. They are seen all across Lake County and are known to visit orchards and gardens in town. Rutting season is in October/November and fawns are seen with mothers in spring.

Photo: Chipmunk

There are various kinds of chipmunks that can be found in Oregon, depending on location and habitat. Whever the kind, chipmunks are easily identified by their bold black and white stripe down each side of the back.