Pahranagat's water originates from large springs to the north of the refuge and is managed to obtain the most value for wildlife.... more » Various types of wetland habitats support many plants favored as food by over 230 species of migratory birds and other resident wildlife. The refuge has four main water impoundments: North Marsh, Upper and Lower Pahranagat Lakes, and the Middle Marsh.
Numerous recreational opportunities are available at Pahranagat. Wildlife observation, fishing, and hunting are all popular activities enjoyed by refuge visitors. Birdwatching is also a popular activity, with a bird list available at the refuge or online (site link listed below). Camping and picnicking are permitted along the east shoreline of the Upper Lake.
My son and I birded here often and also camped and fished. The lake and marsh habitat in this oasis in the desert in the basin and range region attracts migratory birds in spring and fall/winter.
This was the location of our first bald eagle sighting and numerous life birds for our lists. The sudden arrival of a flock of American Pelicans excited us so much we forgot to eat supper until it was dark.
My birding photography at that time was in its development stages. The photography opprotunities are much better thans my photos represent.
Bird abundance and diversity is highest during spring and fall migrations when large numbers of songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors are present. Common ducks are pintail, teal, mallards, and redhead. Great blue herons are found near lakes while black-necked stilts and American avocets are found feeding in shallow water. Greater sandhill cranes can be seen in February - March and again in October - November as they migrate between nesting and wintering areas. Red-tailed hawks, Northern harriers, Cooper's hawks, and American kestrels are most abundant during winter months and both bald eagles and golden eagles are also winter visitors. Cottonwood-willow habitat provides nesting habitat for warblers, orioles, flycatchers, and finches. The open fields attract shrikes, meadowlarks, blackbirds, and mourning doves. The uplands are home to Gambel's quail, roadrunners, and various sparrow species.
The Red Rock Audubon Society out of Las Vegas frequently schedules birding trips to this location. They usually car pool to reduce fuel costs. It is a great way to meet friends and enjoy birding. I listed a link to their site for more information. less «