Bellagio fountains turned off after rare bird checks in to Las Vegas hotel late



Tourists wandering the Las Vegas Strip Tuesday may have noticed something was missing.

The Fountains of Bellagio, one of Vegas’s top free attractions, were shut down temporarily after an especially rare bird decided to take a swim in the hotel’s man-made lake.

The yellow-billed loon might not be a household name, but it’s the sort of thing that gets both amateur and professional ornithologists all kinds of excited. And after the migratory bird decided to rest its wings in the waters outside the hotel, MGM Resorts put the water show on hold.

While wildlife officials determined the bird didn’t really have a problem with the jets of water, the hotel opted to not resume performances Tuesday night. The hotel has not posted an update as of 11:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

“We are happy to welcome the most exclusive guests,” the hotel wrote on Twitter/X. “The Fountains of Bellagio are paused as we work with state wildlife officials to rescue a Yellow-billed Loon…that has found comfort on Las Vegas’ own Lake Bellagio.”

The yellow-billed loon is considered one of the 10 rarest birds in the U.S. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed it as “near threatened.” In 2020, the National Park Service said it met the criteria to be listed as “endangered,” but it was not added to the Endangered Species List at the time due to higher-priority cases.

It normally makes its home in the Arctic and on the northern Pacific Ocean coastline, such as Alaska. Officials speculate this particular loon was in town as it was looking to avoid a storm.

The plan, for now, is to leave it alone and hope it moves along on its own (maybe after catching a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s The Beatles Love or something first). If not, a rescue mission could be called for. The bird was first spotted in the area at the Henderson Bird Preserve in late February.

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