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VIDEO: Spring Wings festival celebrates bird migration

By Ty O'Neil

The Springs Wings Festival returned to Fallon this year after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, with bird watchers celebrating Nevada’s wetlands and the migratory birds that enjoy them.

The event, April 30 and May 1, used Oats Park as its festival headquarters, with self-guided bird tours at five local sites: Lahontan State Recreation Area, Carson Lake and Pasture, Naval Air Station Wetlands Nature Trail, Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Wetlands and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Mike Goddard of the Audubon Society said wetlands in Nevada play a critical for migratory birds passing through the area. The birds, Goddard explained, burn huge amounts of calories in the migration and the wetlands offer a place to rest and eat on the journey.

Refuge manager for Stillwater Wildlife Refuge Carl Lunderstadt said that while it has been a few dry years, Stillwater still has thousands of acres of flooded land.

White-Faced Ibis were in the area, Goddard said. The birds are common to northwestern Nevada during the breeding season, traveling north from Mexico where they spend the winter. They use the wetlands for safety at night and then feed in the nearby farmland when its irrigated.

Other birds seen during the festival include:

  • American coot
  • American white pelicans
  • Egrets
  • Swallows
  • Red winged blackbird
  • Canada goose
  • Mallard ducks

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