Tourism: Catering to bird watchers could prove lucrative |

Tourism: Catering to bird watchers could prove lucrative

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Todd Stevens throws bread to seagulls at Regan Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

CARSON CITY – Tourism related to bird watching isn’t a fly-by-night idea, according to Carson City and regional officials.

Catering to bird lovers could prove financially lucrative to the city’s – and region’s – tourism trade according to the Fallon Convention and Visitors’ Authority, which has sought out Carson City for a partnership. Based on research that says more than 70,000 people participate in bird watching each year members of the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau are considering joining forces with Fallon.

“They’ll mention Carson City as a place to stay,” said Candace Duncan, executive director of tourism.

It will serve as a fine addition to the “menu of things to do in Carson City,” she said.

The partnership in this regional marketing campaign won’t cost the city any money, at least for now, and will make note of various bird watching events around northern Nevada and also highlight the city’s attributes, Duncan said.

Though the Audubon Society doesn’t consider Carson City as a birder’s paradise, it’s centrally located and provides an anchor point for tourists to obtain lodging and visit historic sites between short jaunts to see native birds, said Rick Gray, the executive director of the Fallon Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

Called “Birding Nevada: Wildly Unexpected,” the advertisement created for Carson City focuses on an eagle while images of some of the city’s icons, the Capitol dome and Mark Twain, are smaller and softer but prominent alongside the majestic bird.

Carson City offers several locations for bird watching, though sightings of rare birds in the state capital aren’t common, said Don McIvor, director of bird conservation for Nevada Important Bird Area program of the Audubon Society and a Carson resident.

Each year, Fallon plays host to millions of waterfowl and shorebirds. Thousands of white pelicans can be seen at Pyramid Lake. Closer to Carson City, the Carson Valley draws hundreds of nesting bald eagles. Jacks Valley Road, Washoe Wetlands and Spooner Lake also offer people a chance to see a variety of interesting birds, say Gray and McIvor.

McIvor cites such areas in the city as Riverview Park and other points along the Carson River corridor as prime bird-watching locations. Birds that normally call Carson City home include quail, magpies and bluebirds.

And during migration periods, unique birds can make brief appearances, particularly during the early spring and fall, he said.

“You’d be amazed at what shows up in town,” McIvor said. “Bald eagles have been spotted in the city along the river.”

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