Earlier in the year, armed militants staged a lengthy siege of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, southeastern Oregon. Malheur is well known to birders for its staggering concentrations of water birds, for its sparse but sought-after upland bird species, and for its inarguable natural beauty.


The American Birding Association has kept its members and friends up-to-date on breaking and ongoing news from Malheur, and this webpage is a compendium of some of the major coverage that has appeared in ABA online forums.

1. Commentary by ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon on why Malheur matters to birders everywhere.

2. Overview by ABA Blog Manager Nate Swick of the mass-media narrative of the Malheur takeover.

3. Reflections by longtime Oregon birder Dave Irons on the forces that led to the Malheur occupation.

Also, ABA Board member Terry Rich has put together this compilation of notable online commentaries appearing in non-ABA venues:

On damage done by the militants to sites of cultural and archaeological significance.

On damage done by the militants to fences and other refuge property, undermining conservation actions.

On the dire consequences for sage-grouse and other wildlife of the militants’ demands.

On the U.S. Congress’s complicity in the standoff.

On what went wrong (“sideways”) for the militants.

On the militants’ ideological links with extremist groups, including white supremacists.

On the danger of not punishing anti-government extremists.

On the socio-cultural dimension of law enforcement as it applies to the Malheur takeover.

And, just for fun, on the role of social media in shaping the public response to the Malheur takeover.