Wildlife - Birding

Nevada's dramatically diverse terrain may mean incredible adventure possibilities for the outdoor lover, but it also provides sanctuary for hundreds upon hundreds of species of birds. Add to that a slew of annual birding festivals, and you've got one great state for bird watching.

Whether you're heading to the northern end of the Silver State or down south, you won't find a shortage of parks, wilderness areas and wildlife refuges guaranteed to satisfy any bird watching craving. In northeastern Nevada, Elko County offers an impressive range of bird habitats. In fact, it's the only spot in the entire Western Hemisphere where you can catch a glimpse of the Himalayan snowcock. Other birdie beauties include lazuli buntings, black terns, black rosy fines and long-billed curlews. Another birding paradise is known as the "Oasis of Nevada." Fallon is surrounded by globally important wetlands, home to thousands of breeding American avocet, black-necked stilt and white-faced ibis, among others. The bird-loving town also hosts the annual Spring Wings Bird Festival.

Situated in the high desert of northern Nevada is the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex, a sanctuary comprised of three separate refuges, the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, the Fallon National Wildlife Refuge and Anaho Island National Wildlife Refuge that total roughly 163,000 acres of wetland habitat. The brackish and freshwater marshes, alkali playas, desert shrub lands, sand dunes, cottonwood and willow riparian areas and rocky, 500-acre island surrounded by a desert lake act as ideal habitat for more than 260 bird species, including the American white pelican, white-faced ibis, double-crested cormorant, as well as numerous species of heron, gull, tern and egret. Don't forget those binoculars!

Moving south, birdwatchers will find a plethora of bird-friendly areas, including the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Lincoln County. The complex, which includes the Pahranagat National Wildlife, Desert National Wildlife, Ash Meadows National Wildlife and Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuges, has recorded hundreds of bird species thanks to its many diverse habitats. Keep your eyes open for everything from songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl and raptors to great blue herons, bald and golden eagles and many, many more. Down south is also where you'll find the annual Wings & Wildlife Festival of Southern Nevada, bursting with seminars and guided tours.

For information on where to go, what to see for in birding northern Nevada, visit the Lahontan Audubon Society.

For more birding details, including some of the best off-the-beaten-track spots to catch a glimpse of Nevada's beautiful native fowl, call or write for your free Nevada birding map:

Fallon Tourism
100 Campus Way
Fallon NV 89406
775-423-4556
866-632-5566
FallonTourism.com