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Bird Checklists of the United States

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Alamo, Nevada

Birds of Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1964, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is an oasis in southern Nevada. Located 90 miles north of Las Vegas, the refuge contains 5,380 acres of marshes, open water, native grass meadows and cultivated croplands. It is an important stopping point for waterfowl and other migratory birds as they migrate south in the fall and back north in early spring.

The diversity of the area provides habitat for a variety of birds. Waterfowl and shorebirds are most numerous during the spring and fall migrations. Great blue herons, egrets and other shorebirds can be found in the shallow areas of the marshes and lakes. Raptors are most abundant in the summer. Warblers, orioles and finches are abundant in the cottonwood trees that border the shorelines of the North Marsh and Upper Lake. The cultivated and open fields attract meadowlarks, blackbirds and mourning doves.

Bird watching is a growing outdoor pastime that provides many hours of enjoyment in a natural environment. Over 240 different species of birds have been recorded on the refuge. Species diversity and density are highest in the spring and fall.

Helpful Hints

The best time to see the greatest variety of birds is during the fall and spring migrations, especially in the early morning or late evening. Calm, mild days are preferable to windy, cold days. A field guide and binoculars will help in the identification of the different species. When watching a bird pay close attention to color, size, shape, wing and head markings. Always observe first then refer to your identification book because the bird may not remain where it can be readily seen for a long period of time.

Codes for relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are as follows:

Sp- March - May
S - June - August
F - September- November
W - December- February

c - common
u - uncommon
o - occasional
r - rare
* - birds known to nest locally
# - Endangered Species

LOONS Sp S F W ___ Common Loon o - o o
GREBES Sp S F W ___ Pied-billed Grebe* c o c c ___ Horned Grebe r - r - ___ Eared Grebe c u c c ___ Western Grebe* c u c c
PELICANS & CORMORANTS Sp S F W ___ American White Pelican u r u o ___ Double-crested Cormorant* c c c u
BITTERNS, HERONS & EGRETS Sp S F W ___ American Bittern* u o u o ___ Great Blue Heron* c c c c ___ Great Egret o o u - ___ Snowy Egret u u c o ___ Cattle Egret - - r r ___ Green Heron r - r - ___ Black-crowned Night-Heron* u u u o
IBIS Sp S F W ___ White-faced Ibis o u u -
WATERFOWL Sp S F W ___ Tundra Swan u - u c ___ Greater White-fronted Goose r - r r ___ Snow Goose r - o u ___ Ross' Goose r - - - ___ Canada Goose* c c c c ___ Green-winged Teal* c o u c ___ Mallard* u u c c ___ Northern Pintail* u u c c ___ Blue-winged Teal o - o o ___ Cinnamon Teal* c o c u ___ Northern Shoveler* c o u u ___ Gadwall* c u c u ___ American Wigeon u o c c ___ Canvasback c r c c ___ Redhead* c u c u ___ Ring-necked Duck u r u r ___ Greater Scaup r - r - ___ Lesser Scaup o - o o ___ Common Goldeneye o - o o ___ Bufflehead u - u o ___ Hooded Merganser r - r o ___ Common Merganser u - o c ___ Red-breasted Merganser o - o o ___ Ruddy Duck* u o c c
VULTURES Sp S F W ___ Turkey Vulture u c u -
OSPREY, EAGLES & HAWKS Sp S F W ___ Osprey u o u r ___ Bald Eagle# r - r u ___ Northern Harrier* c u c c ___ Sharp-shinned Hawk o r u u ___ Red-shouldered Hawk - - r r ___ Swainson's Hawk r r r - ___ Red-tailed Hawk* c c c c ___ Ferruginous Hawk r - o o ___ Rough-legged Hawk o - o o ___ Golden Eagle u o u u
FALCONS Sp S F W ___ American Kestrel* c c c c ___ Merlin o - o o ___ Peregrine Falcon# r - r r ___ Prairie Falcon o u u o
GALLINACEOUS BIRDS Sp S F W ___ Ring-necked Pheasant* u u u u ___ Gambel's Quail* c c c c
RAILS Sp S F W ___ Virginia Rail* u u u r ___ Sora* u o u o ___ Common Moorhen* o o o r ___ American Coot* c c c c
CRANES Sp S F W ___ Sandhill Crane o - o o
PLOVERS Sp S F W ___ Semipalmated Plover o - o - ___ Killdeer* c c c u
STILTS & AVOCETS Sp S F W ___ Black-necked Stilt* o u o - ___ American Avocet u u u -
SHOREBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Greater Yellowlegs o o o - ___ Lesser Yellowlegs o o o - ___ Solitary Sandpiper o - o - ___ Willet o - o - ___ Spotted Sandpiper u u u - ___ Long-billed Curlew o - o - ___ Marbled Godwit o - o - ___ Semipalmated Sandpiper - - r - ___ Western Sandpiper u o u - ___ Least Sandpiper u u c - ___ Baird's Sandpiper - - r - ___ Pectoral Sandpiper - - r - ___ Long-billed Dowitcher o - o -
SNIPE Sp S F W ___ Common Snipe c u u r
PHALAROPES Sp S F W ___ Wilson's Phalarope c u u - ___ Red-necked Phalarope r - r -
GULLS & TERNS Sp S F W ___ Franklin's Gull r - r - ___ Bonaparte's Gull r - r - ___ Ring-billed Gull c u c o ___ California Gull o o o o ___ Herring Gull r - r - ___ Caspian Tern o o o - ___ Common Tern - - r - ___ Forster's Tern u o o - ___ Black Tern u o o -
DOVES Sp S F W ___ Rock Dove o o o o ___ White-winged Dove r r r - ___ Mourning Dove* c c c o ___ Common Ground-Dove r - r -
CUCKOOS Sp S F W ___ Greater Roadrunner* c c c c
OWLS Sp S F W ___ Barn Owl* u u u u ___ Western Screech-Owl* u u u u ___ Great Horned Owl* u u u u ___ Burrowing Owl r r r - ___ Long-eared Owl o o o o ___ Short-eared Owl o - o -
GOATSUCKERS Sp S F W ___ Lesser Nighthawk* u c u - ___ Common Nighthawk* u c u - ___ Common Poorwill* u c u -
SWIFTS Sp S F W ___ White-throated Swift u c u -
HUMMINGBIRDS Sp S F W ___ Black-chinned Hummingbird* o c o - ___ Costa's Hummingbird r o r - ___ Calliope Hummingbird - - r - ___ Broad-tailed Hummingbird r - r - ___ Rufous Hummingbird - - r -
KINGFISHERS Sp S F W ___ Belted Kingfisher o u u r
WOODPECKERS Sp S F W ___ Lewis' Woodpecker o - o o ___ Red-breasted Sapsucker o - o o ___ Ladder-backed Woodpecker* u u u u ___ Hairy Woodpecker r - r r ___ Northern Flicker* u o u u
FLYCATCHERS Sp S F W ___ Olive-sided Flycatcher o - o - ___ Western Wood-Pewee o r o - ___ Willow Flycatcher r - o - ___ Hammond's Flycatcher o - o - ___ Dusky Flycatcher u o u - ___ Gray Flycatcher u o u o ___ Western Flycatcher u o u - ___ Black Phoebe* o o o o ___ Say's Phoebe* u u u o ___ Cassin's Kingbird r r r - ___ Western Kingbird* c c c - ___ Eastern Kingbird r r r -
LARKS Sp S F W ___ Horned Lark* c c c c
SWALLOWS Sp S F W ___ Tree Swallow* c c c - ___ Violet-green Swallow* u u u - ___ Northern Rough-winged Swallow* c u c - ___ Bank Swallow u - u - ___ Cliff Swallow* o u o - ___ Barn Swallow* o o o -
JAYS & CROWS Sp S F W ___ Pinyon Jay r - - - ___ American Crow* u o u u ___ Common Raven u u u u
CHICKADEES Sp S F W ___ Mountain Chickadee r - - r
VERDINS Sp S F W ___ Verdin* o o o o
BUSHTITS Sp S F W ___ Bushtit r - r r
CREEPERS Sp S F W ___ Brown Creeper r - r -
WRENS Sp S F W ___ Cactus Wren* o o o r ___ Rock Wren* c c c c ___ Canyon Wren* o o o o ___ Bewick's Wren* o u o o ___ House Wren o r o o ___ Marsh Wren* u c u o
KINGLETS, BLUEBIRDS & THRUSHES Sp S F W ___ Golden-crowned Kinglet r - r r ___ Ruby-crowned Kinglet u - u u ___ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher* o o o r ___ Western Bluebird o - o u ___ Mountain Bluebird r - r o ___ Townsend's Solitaire u - u u ___ Swainson's Thrush u - u - ___ Hermit Thrush o - o r ___ American Robin u o u u
MOCKINGBIRDS & THRASHERS Sp S F W ___ Northern Mockingbird* c c c u ___ Sage Thrasher u r u o ___ Bendire's Thrasher r - r - ___ Crissal Thrasher* o o o o ___ Le Conte's Thrasher* o o o o
PIPITS Sp S F W ___ American Pipit u - u c
WAXWINGS Sp S F W ___ Cedar Waxwing u - u o
PHAINOPEPLA Sp S F W ___ Phainopepla o o o -
SHRIKES Sp S F W ___ Loggerhead Shrike* u u u c
STARLINGS Sp S F W ___ European Starling* c c c u
VIREOS Sp S F W ___ Bell's Vireo r - - - ___ Solitary Vireo o - o - ___ Warbling Vireo o - o -
WARBLERS Sp S F W ___ Tennessee Warbler r - r - ___ Orange-crowned Warbler r - r r ___ Nashville Warbler o - o - ___ Virginia'a Warbler u - u - ___ Lucy's Warbler* o c o - ___ Yellow Warbler* c c c - ___ Yellow-rumped Warbler c - c u ___ Black-throated Gray Warbler u - u - ___ Townsend's Warbler o - o - ___ American Redstart o - o - ___ MacGillivray's Warbler o - o - ___ Common Yellowthroat* c u c - ___ Wilson's Warbler u - u - ___ Yellow-breasted Chat* u o u -
TANAGERS Sp S F W ___ Summer Tanager r - r - ___ Western Tanager u - u -
GROSBEAKS & BUNTINGS Sp S F W ___ Black-headed Grosbeak u - u - ___ Blue Grosbeak u c u - ___ Lazuli Bunting u o u -
TOWHEES & SPARROWS Sp S F W ___ Green-tailed Towhee u - u - ___ Rufous-sided Towhee* u o u - ___ American Tree Sparrow - - - r ___ Chipping Sparrow c - c - ___ Brewer's Sparrow* o - o - ___ Vesper Sparrow r - r r ___ Lark Sparrow u - u r ___ Black-throated Sparrow* c c c u ___ Sage Sparrow* u o u u ___ Lark Bunting o - o o ___ Savannah Sparrow o r u o ___ Song Sparrow* u u u u ___ Lincoln's Sparrow u - u o ___ White-crowned Sparrow c o c c ___ Dark-eyed Junco u - u c
BLACKBIRDS, MEADOWLARKS & ORIOLES Sp S F W ___ Red-winged Blackbird* c c c c ___ Western Meadowlark* c o c o ___ Yellow-headed Blackbird* c c c u ___ Brewer's Blackbird* u o u u ___ Great-tailed Grackle* u c u o ___ Brown-headed Cowbird* u u u o ___ Hooded Oriole o r r - ___ Bullock's Oriole* u c u - ___ Scott's Oriole u o u -
FINCHES Sp S F W ___ Cassin's Finch o - o u ___ House Finch* c c c c ___ Pine Siskin c - c u ___ Lesser Goldfinch* o o o o ___ American Goldfinch u - o u
WEAVER FINCHES Sp S F W ___ House Sparrow* c c c c
ACCIDENTS AND RARITIES Red-throated Loon Yellow-throated Vireo Arctic Loon Palm Warbler Roseate Spoonbill Hooded Warbler Trumpeter Swan Indigo Bunting Surf Scoter Clay-colored Sparrow Mississippi Kite White-throated Sparrow Black-bellied Plover Golden-crowned Warbler Broad-billed Hummingbird Harris' Sparrow Brown-crested Flycatcher Rusty Blackbird Tropical Kingbird Common Grackle Northern Shrike Purple Finch Gray Catbird

Acknowledgements: We are indebted to the many visiting professional and amateur wildlife observers who have assisted the refuge staff by providing important wildlife observations throughout the years. We are especially grateful to the Red Rock Audubon Society for their review and verification of the current list. Our list is not considered final as we are sure new observations will continue to add to its quality and accuracy. We encourage and appreciate all observations and ask that they be reported to refuge headquarters as soon as possible.

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is managed in conjunction with Ash Meadows and Moapa National Wildlife Refuges in the Desert National Wildlife Range. Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge is located 5 miles south of the town of Alamo, Nevada. For additional information, contact:

                       Refuge Manager
                       Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
                       Box 510
                       Alamo, Nevada 89001
                       Telephone: 702/725-3417

This resource is based on the following source:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1988.  Birds of Pahranagat National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Nevada.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
This resource should be cited as:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  1988.  Birds of Pahranagat National Wildlife 
     Refuge, Nevada.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Unpaginated.
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.
     (Version 26MAY98).

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