By HENRY BREAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
A rare songbird found along waterways in Nevada and on the Colorado River has been proposed for listing as an endangered species.
The yellow-billed cuckoo once thrived across the West, but it is now confined to a few scattered parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.
“In Nevada it’s a pretty rare bird at this point,” with fewer than 10 breeding pairs known to frequent the Virgin and Muddy Rivers, Pahranagat Valley and Lahontan Reservoir, said Noah Greenwald from the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s one of many species that are in danger because of the degradation of rivers in the West.”
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will announce the proposed listing Thursday with a notice in the Federal Register.
The yellow-billed cuckoo is a robin-sized songbird with a long tail, flashy white markings and brightly colored beak. The bird is often called a “rain crow” for its habit of singing right before storms. It spends the winter in South America and flies north to the American Southwest to breed and nest from June through September.
The cuckoo could join another Colorado River bird, the Southwest willow flycatcher, on the endangered species list within the next year. First, though, the Fish & Wildlife Service proposal will be subject to review by researchers and input from the public.