Rare Yellow-Billed Loon Shuts Down Famous Show at Vegas Casino

If you've ever been to Las Vegas, you know that you see some pretty interesting things while there. One thing I've never seen when visiting is one of the 10 rarest birds in the country, but tourists got to see one at the Bellagio Casino on Tuesday. A yellow-billed loon shut down the famous water show that happens every 30 minutes when it decided to find "comfort on Las Vegas' own Lake Bellagio".

ABC News shared the video on Wednesday, March 6th, shortly after the bird was rescued from the Strip and relocated to a "more suitable" location. I'm sure the loon was happier in the pond!

Fortunately, wildlife officials confirmed to ABC News that the bird was in good health and didn't appear to have any injuries. I did a quick search to see what happened, and it seems that experts think that the loon probably somehow got off course from its normal migratory pattern. Sometimes this happens due to heavy winds or poor weather conditions. They're hoping now that the bird will get reoriented and get back on track so it can continue its trek to the north.

Related: Veterinarian Wakes Up to an Unexpected Visitor in Her Vegas Hotel Room

More About Yellow-Billed Loons

The yellow-billed loon is one of the Top 10 rarest birds in the U.S., and they are usually found in coastal areas, not the middle of the desert! These loons are also the largest of the loon family and are also known as the 'white-billed diver'.

According to Wikipedia, it may not be so strange that the loon was flying off course, "It breeds in the Arctic and winters mainly at sea along the coasts of the northern Pacific Ocean and northwestern Norway; it also sometimes overwinters on large inland lakes. It occasionally strays well south of its normal wintering range..."

Because they're divers, they eat a lot of things found in water, which was a concern about the loon in Lake Bellagio since there was nothing for it to eat in those waters. These loons normally eat small to medium-sized fish, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Have you ever heard a loon's call? It's actually very beautiful! These types of loons have similar calls to the Common Loon's, but they are louder and harsher.

During mating season, it's the male bird that chooses the nest's location, normally hidden in vegetation. The females lay two eggs, and both the male and female work to incubate the eggs. The pair may return every year to the same nest. Once the babies are born, both parents feed and care for them, and "aggressively defend them."

I've taken up bird watching in the last year or so and am fascinated by birds. I love learning random animal facts, and the loon is pretty interesting. I hope the loon finds its way back to wherever it was going!

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