Posted by: atowhee | January 7, 2016


Here is a note from one person many of us birders know in the Malheur area.   Forced out for safety’s sake: “We’re fine still.  Not hearing much.  Left Burns, since was told I had “government employee” status and therefore was fair game.  A lot of “Bundys” are off refuge following and threatening government employees.  And they know where everyone lives, where the kids go to school…  At this point, based on safety first, I think the smart move is a little distance…”

The phrase “menacing white men” comes to mind.

Tomorrow marks a full week of the Malheur occupation by armed, embittered white men.  Today’s request from the sheriff and local ranchers was rejected and the menacing gunmen stayed in place.   National media has NOT covered the aspect of threats to local federal employees.

SOME MALHEURIAN MEMORIESBuena Vista vistaGrebelet on board: CLARKS-BABY ON BOARD daytime nighthawk DIAMOND RAINBOWEastern Kingbird: EAKI ON 205 FERRU TAKEOFF


Jan. 6…with photos:

Jan. 5 Occupation—how long?

Jan 4 Occupation underway:

I have saved most of my venom for another blog that’s more political. Click here for fire and ash.


  1. […] I just heard from a friend who lives and works around Burns. Forced out of the area through intimida… […]

  2. Just curious, but why do you make it so clear that they are are “white” and “men.” Why can’t they be described as just really pissed off people? According to the group, there are 150 of them – are they all white, are they all men? Maybe, maybe not. What does it matter? They are disrupting a peaceful community and I personally believe that after they leave (and they will leave one way or another), that they be charged with domestic terrorism. Nobody should be able to walk into a government building armed, and just say that they are claiming it as theirs and “for the people.” Laws are made by people, and people can change them – peacefully. They are thugs, bullies, criminals and are terrorizing the community, no matter the gender, race, religion, marital status, etc. Just my two cents. Nice blog – I think it’s been about a year since I’ve been reading this. Good birding!

    • Many non-participants, including the local Paiute, have been very pointedly saying that if this group were Indian or black or Muslim, there would have much faster and more violent federal interventio.n I think in the current atmosphere where police shooting unarmed black men is a major recurring public issue, the fact that these armed white men are coming and going at will,using federal vehicles and computers, intimidating local residents who are federal employees and are deemed dangerous enough that the FBI is not eager to create a violent end like at Waco or Ruby Ridge–all this is relevant as is the whiteness of the participants. I don’t think we can ignore that the traditional dominance of America by white males (and I’m one) is being eroded by many economic and social trends…this is the crucial background to the reaction of these occupiers who’d love to be back in 1880 when white ranchers could do as they pleased. I would even posit that it is likely that if we had a white President this would not be happening in this way. Reporters on the scene have not noticed any women involved directly though some have verbalized support.

      • Certainly things are heating up – everywhere. I was born in 1965, and I consider myself so lucky. I served in the military under Reagan. Never in my life do I remember so many threats from so many different directions. Everyone feels offended and personally attacked on one level or another. I do my best to keep an open mind, such as looking at the point of view from the ranchers. But, with a background in law, I tend to lean on the logical as opposed to the emotional. I agree with your reply (thank you for your response). I too am one of those eroded white guys. I truly believe a very smart person can figure out the end game of where we are going. For one, I’d be interested to know. In the meantime, I am as ready as I can be for the zombie apocalypse with my sailboat equipped and stocked for self-reliance for years. It also makes a good birding blind.

        I really appreciate the time you spend on your blog – it’s been an inspiration to me to write on mine.

  3. I think that the “white” part is terribly significant. If the people who did this were of color or muslim, this would be being handled completely differently. These people have committed a slew of crimes and yet are being offered a “escort out of state for their safety”. Wrong on so many levels.

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