Bellagio Halts Fountain Shows After Rare Bird Lands in Fake Lake

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The Bellagio canceled all its fountain shows beginning Tuesday afternoon, after the sighting of an extremely rare migratory bird in the artificial lake fronting the Las Vegas casino resort.

An extremely rare yellow-billed loon swims on Tuesday in Bellagio Lake, causing the casino resort to halt its regular daily fountain shows. (Image: @dsyzdek/X)

The yellow-billed loon is considered one of the 10 rarest birds in the US by the National Park Service. Normally, it winters on the Pacific Coast of Alaska and British Columbia.

“We are happy to welcome the most exclusive guests,” Bellagio Las Vegas wrote in a post on X/Twitter on Tuesday, explaining their famous fountains’ closure.

No Harm No Fowl

On Tuesday afternoon, the Bellagio called in officials with the Nevada Department of Wildlife to rescue the loon. However, a spokesperson for the organization told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, rather than upset the bird, its plan was to monitor the animal’s behavior and hope that it realizes there are better spots for fishing than Bellagio Lake.

“We’re just going give it space,” Doug Nielsen told the newspaper. “Hopefully, it’ll say: ‘Gee, I’m not finding anything swimming in here, so I probably need to go.’”

Most likely, Nielson explained, the water bird was seeking shelter from a storm. However, UNLV biology professor Donald Price also told the newspaper that climate change confuses some migratory birds, altering their behavior in potentially detrimental ways.

Unconfirmed social media reports placed what was most likely the same loon at the nearby Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, where fish are plentiful, last week.

If the loon starts showing signs of weakness or hunger, Nielsen told the R-J, then wildlife officials will intervene.

There is no word on when the fountain shows will resume. However, tourists are now flocking to Bellagio Lake for a new free attraction: rare bird-watching.


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