High Desert Museum Blog

By Jon Nelson, Curator of Wildlife

Beginning in March 2015 Museum staff and volunteers, in collaboration with the USFS, ODFW, The Oregon Zoo, have placed more than ten bait stations and hair snares in areas of the Deschutes National Forest that had never before been surveyed for fox.

A whole deer is too heavy to carry into the forest and it’s more than a fox can eat, but venison is often still the preferred bait. The leg of a deer or some other smaller piece of meat is

By Jon Nelson, Curator of Wildlife

Around the same time I saw the fox on the Cascade Lakes Highway, I was working on an undergraduate research project at OSU-Cascades. We were in the early stages of fleshing out a study idea using remote cameras to document the behavior of scavenger species around carrion. The work was tedious and unpleasant. Road-killed deer would be moved, with proper permits of course, into the forest. We then mounted remote cameras to see what carnivorous animals

By Jon Nelson
Curator of Wildlife

It was the end of a hot summer day in 2012 on Little Cultus Lake. My wife was riding shotgun, two sunburned kids on the backseat, all of us singing along with the radio. As I eased around one of the winding corners of the Cascade Lakes Highway towards Bend, a flash of movement caught my eye. I slowed down, squinting to see a dark animal with a bushy tail and long, skinny legs drift across the asphalt. It was

By John Goodell
Donald M. Kerr Curator of Natural History

My fascination with sage grouse began 20 years ago with an invitation by a friend to hunt the majestic greater sage-grouse with our falcons. I arrived in late November at his camp on the banks of the Sandy River in Wyoming, along a stretch peppered with Oregon Trail gravesites. This treeless, exposed stretch of river felt more like a moonscape than a center of a vibrant

By Alysia Wolf, assistant curator/wildlife      

In the midst of staff preparations for our 2015 summer season, our porcupine Honey had a baby!  

A baby porcupine is called a porcupette (believe it or not). After a seven month gestation, they are born with their eyes open and all 30,000 or so quills in place, characteristics

By Living History Interpreter Ethan Mark    

In Living History, we’re always looking for ways to bring our visitors back to the past. This gives them an authentic and memorable experience. One such experience is the sight, sound, and smell of a black powder musket being fired. For the fur trappers camp during Frontier Days (c. 1820) we had one small need: to build a brand new Northwest

By Dustin Cockerham, chief exhibits preparator

When I first began working for the High Desert Museum, I was elated to find something tucked away in the vault that I never

We’re excited to have just added a fifth owl species to our collection: the barred owl. This beautiful and remarkable species joins our popular hawks, eagles and falcons currently on exhibit.

The barred owl is a large owl native to the mixed deciduous/coniferous forests of the eastern U.S. Throughout the 20th century, the species made a rapid westward expansion, possibly across the Northern Great Plains or Canadian boreal forest, into the Washington Cascades, and now south into Oregon

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