Birding Las Vegas
After the excitement of Corn Creek, Vegas turned out to be rather mundane from a birding perspective. A brutal sleep schedule, the steep cost of getting around the city, and a few other factors conspired to keep me close to my hotel yesterday rather than at one of area’s urban parks. Despite the squalor of my surroundings, I resolved to do a bit of city birding. As keen observers of avian behavior, we know that birds are always around us; after all, they have wings! The tough part is ferreting them out.
The stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard from Harrah’s to the Venetian was my selected patch. The transplanted greenery and unnaturally clear waterfalls around the Mirage held the most promise, so I saved those for last. Actually, I got to that area pretty quickly after spotting the same familiar city birds – House Sparrow, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, and Great-tailed Grackle – over and over. Starlings were noticeably absent. Still, I anticipated some interesting birds lurking amidst the carefully manicured, simulated oasis around the Mirage and I got a couple. That the landscape’s meager ponds might have attracted some Mallards was to be expected, but American Coot were not. My biggest surprise was a lone songbird resting briefly in a tree before taking the high road out of Sin City. Imagine that, a MacGillivray’s Warbler, my second in 24 hours, right there on Las Vegas Boulevard. This city really does have something for everyone!