Uncategorized May 30, 2024

Birds of Tahoe!

Western Tanager photo courtesy


Anna’s Hummingbird, Photo Courtesy Jaren Manninen


Red necked Phalarope courtesy Jared Manninen


By Tim Hauserman 

Whether it is just sitting in your front yard or on a hike or mountain bike ride the sight and sound of birds are a constant companion in the Sierra Nevada. Most of us are familiar with the dark blue Stellar jays, Ravens, Robins and woodpeckers. Most hikers to high elevation can recognize the jay sized Clark Nutcracker with it’s light gray plumage and many have also been enchanted by our resident ospreys around Emerald Bay, or the summer arrival of the bright yellow and red western tanager. 

But do you frequently here the sound of birds in the woods and have no idea what bird they are, or you see something quickly flash by and our curious what that is? The good news is that you can learn a lot more about our Tahoe birds from a bunch of local experts who can name a bird by sight or sound almost as fast as Gene Wilder can wield a pistol in Blazing Saddles. 

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Sciences, commonly known as TINS, provides birding walks all summer long. There are Village Walks in Incline Village once a week, as well as a just about completed series of lectures on Birding by Ear. TINS is the place to go for all things birding as well as any other natural science interest. Check out what they are up to at tinsweb.org 

Tins also started a Facebook group Tahoe Birding. This active group is where Tahoe bird lovers post pictures of various birds they have seen around the area. If you follow this group you will see a steady series of bird photos from the several thousand folks who follow and post on this site. I just checked the group for the last few days and saw about a dozen different types of birds pop up on posts. And apparently these birders have much better cameras than I do with some major telephoto lens attached because they provide us with amazing photos. 

So there you go! Want to learn more about Tahoe birds. Check out TINS and the Tahoe Birding Facebook group.