Located at the convergence of three desert ecosystems, along a north-south bird migration route, Lake Mead offers a rare chance to catch a glimpse of aquatic and desert birds in close proximity. The diversity of habitats in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area allows a wide variety of birds to thrive; in fact, over 240 different types of birds have been recorded here. The best way to see some of these birds in flight is from the water aboard a houseboat. When you are packing for your vacation on one of our Lake Mead luxury houseboat rentals, don’t forget your binoculars. We’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite Lake Mead birds that you just might see next time you're here.
American Bald Eagle
Although the majority of Bald Eagle sightings at Lake Mead occur between November and March, these majestic birds have been spotted here throughout the year. A few Bald Eagle nests have been found in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area; with or without their residents, these massive nests, which can weigh as much as 4000 pounds, are impressive to see. Since a mating pair of Bald Eagles will often return to the same nest year after year, there’s a good chance recurring visitors to Lake Mead could catch a glimpse of the same eagles several years in a row.
Although most owls are nocturnal, the burrowing owl is active both day and night. This is partly because burrowing owls have one of the most diverse diets of all owls. During the night, they hunt small mammals, while in the day they catch insects and will also eat certain fruits and seeds. In the spring months, the burrowing owls are often seen hunting insects for their young. These owls are quite small, close in size to the American Robin. They stand 8-10 inches tall but have an impressive 20-24 inch wingspan. Most often seen on the ground during the day, it is a special treat to see a burrowing owl in flight.
Placed on the Endangered Species list in 1973, these beautiful, extremely fast predators have made an impressive comeback in recent years. As the fastest member of the animal kingdom, these falcons can reach up to 200 mph during a high hunting dive. Their mating season is late spring, making sightings in March-June the most common at Lake Mead. Over 30 nesting pairs of peregrine falcons have been found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Since peregrine falcons are not migratory birds, they can be seen year-round.
Other common, year-round feathered residents of Lake Mead include Gambel’s quail, rock wren, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, great horned owls, red-tailed hawk, golden eagles, and North America’s smallest falcon, the American Kestrel. Lake Mead luxury houseboat rentals offer the perfect opportunity for amateur birdwatchers and birding enthusiasts alike to catch a glimpse of an array of the native and migratory birds of American southwest.
Ready to see for yourself why people, and birds, return to Lake Mead year after year? Contact us at Forever Houseboats to book your luxury houseboat vacation today.