Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

December 13, 2017


Photographer: John Kupersmith
Summary Author: John Kupersmith 

The Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, just northeast of Fallon, Nevada, is a major stop along the Pacific Flyway bird migration route. At various times of the year, its wetlands are visited by more than 290 species of birds, including the long-billed dowitcher, black-necked stilt, American avocet, American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, and white-faced ibis. Its importance has been recognized by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, American Bird Conservancy and National Audubon Society.

The wetlands themselves, like nearby Pyramid Lake, are remnants of ancient Lake Lahontan which once covered much of the Great Basin. The site of this photo was covered to a depth of several hundred feet during the Pleistocene Epoch, between 11,000 and 25,000 years ago. Though water levels are currently high (though not that high!) after the record winter of 2016-17, severe drought conditions were exceptional in this region from 2012-2016. Photo taken on November 2, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Model: iPhone 7; Exposure Time: 0.0011s (1/900); Aperture: ƒ/1.8; ISO equivalent: 20; Focal Length (35mm): 28; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 7.0 (Macintosh).