Business explores Nevada birds

Submitted PhotosA black-necked stilt photographed at a local wetland.

Submitted PhotosA black-necked stilt photographed at a local wetland.

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Jim Woods said birding is about getting outside and enjoying the world, specifically Nevada's "beautiful, undiscovered areas."

"Birding is the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the U.S.," said Woods, who's been bird watching for 25 years.

Woods has now created a company to share his passion. Birding Under Nevada Skies offers guided tours and hikes, and custom tours for special birds.

"The business comes as a direct response to the growing numbers of people who want to get outdoors for bird watching, hiking, viewing wildflowers, fishing and enjoying the sights, sounds and fresh air of the Nevada landscape," he said. "The tours will be available at normally a 24-hour notice and will range from two to four hours so each can be custom designed to meet the customer's criteria. Typically, there will be a scheduled ranch land tour, Alpine stream tour and a wetland/lake tour set up during the week on different days."

Usually in the early morning, the tours span Douglas, Carson, Lyon, Alpine and El Dorado counties. Woods said Carson Valley itself is a wintering ground for raptors, such as red-tailed hawks, golden eagles and prairie falcons.

"Special tours, some with scientific surveys, will be set up to study and enjoy these beautiful birds," he said.

Longer tours have also been planned.

"There are beautiful areas that will be set for a guided tour and will typically take a day or more," Woods said. "The same will take place for special birds such as the upland game birds, like mountain quail, chukar, wild turkey, Himalayan snowcock and sage grouse."

On the weekend of Sept. 26, Woods and company will be touring the Ruby Mountains near Elko. They'll visit Island Lake and look for Himalayan snowcock, black rosy finches and other bird life in Lamoille Canyon.

"The staff of Birding Under Nevada Skies are members of the Lahontan Audubon Society, Great Basin Bird Observatory, Hawk Watch International, the Western Field Ornithologists and several other scientific organizations," Woods said.

For more information, visit www.birdingundernevadaskies.com or call (775) 720-7009.

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