“Is the vulture the state bird of Nevada?”

While driving from Chicago to California last fall, we passed through part of Nevada. There are a lot of vultures in Nevada. So many that The Ten-Year-Old wondered:

“Is the vulture Nevada’s state bird?”

It seemed plausible at the time, what with Nevada having so much desert and all. But no. Nevada’s state bird is the much more photogenic Mountain Bluebird.

The Mountain Bluebird of Nevada has a lovely pale blue head, wings, and back and a pale greyish blue belly. His eyes, beak, and feet are black, and there are black feathers on his wingtips.

The Mountain Bluebird (male), the state bird of Nevada. Photo by Alexandra MacKenzie on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

This little guy swoops around the state’s high country and ranch lands, hunting for berries and insects to fill its belly.

Wait… Nevada isn’t all desert? 

We were really surprised driving through Nevada to see so much land that wasn’t desert. I’ve since learned that Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state in the U.S, lots of scrubland for wild horses to roam, and some astounding rock formations in the desert areas. It also has places that look like this:


Bonsai Rock in Sand Harbor, on the east side of Lake Tahoe. Photo by the_tahoe_guy

That’s Bonsai Rock in Sand Harbor, on the eastern side of Lake Tahoe.

Looks like Nevada has a lot of surprises waiting for us. We should probably plan a trip out there, in the cooler months.

What about you? Have you been out there? What are some of your favorite spots?

Related Links: 

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
This entry was posted in Can we do that sometime?, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Is the vulture the state bird of Nevada?”

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    The construction crane is the Nevada state bird.


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