Columbia NWR supports an assemblage of bird species associated with native shrub-steppe, one of the most threatened habitat types in Washington. The site is primarily important for waterfowl for fall migration staging and wintering, and as a migration staging area for Sandhill Cranes. The area has large nesting populations of local priority species, including Rock Wren, Northern Harrier, Loggerhead Shrike, and Cinnamon Teal. It provides fresh water foraging for American White Pelicans in autumn; and for herons and egrets, including as many as 170 Great Egrets.
2013 Assessment based on BLM Oregon/Washington Surface Management Ownership dataset (http://www.blm.gov/or/gis/data-details.php?data=ds000011).