“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?

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