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19 May 2020 Waterbird Migration through a Saline Wetland in the Western Nevada Desert, USA
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Abstract

A great variety of waterbirds migrate across western Nevada, where places to rest or refuel are nearly non-existent. One exception is a little-known industrial pond complex at the Albemarle U.S., Inc. facility in Silver Peak. In this paper we analyzed 3 years (2014-2016) of near-daily counts to document the timing, abundance, and stopover biology of 73 species traversing one of the driest regions in North America. Average annual bird-use-days exceeded 350,000, of which 93% were contributed by species with affinities to highly saline habitats. Individuals of most species (total estimated 110,000-183,000) passed through within a day or so, although some Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis), Eared Grebes (Podiceps nigricollis) and American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) made prolonged stays. We treat the most abundant species in detail and show that data from sites that can be monitored daily can complement studies from sites where daily censuses are not feasible. The Silver Peak ponds attract sufficient shorebirds to warrant consideration as a Site of Regional Importance in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

Joseph R. Jehl Jr. and Samuel Miller "Waterbird Migration through a Saline Wetland in the Western Nevada Desert, USA," Waterbirds 43(1), 75-85, (19 May 2020). https://doi.org/10.1675/063.043.0108
Received: 3 September 2019; Accepted: 11 December 2019; Published: 19 May 2020
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