‚Äč… in the Mountains

Bald Eagles

Seen in Southern California

The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the volunteers!

 

 

Saturday December 13th, the first bald eagle count of Winter was conducted by local Federal and State biologists and volunteers around several lakes in Southern California.  Several dozen bald eagles spend their winter vacations around Southern California’s lakes.  They migrate here because their prey animals (fish and ducks) are no longer available to them in the cold northern regions as ice covers the lakes and rivers.

Winter conditions at the mountain count sites hampered turnout of eagles and volunteers.  The Forest Service decided to not risk the safety of volunteers on the icy roads and cancelled the Big Bear count but biologists were able to observe 3 eagles (2 adults and 1 juvenile) during the census period.  Lake Arrowhead had three observers but no eagles were seen.  One adult eagle was observed by the 13 volunteers at Lake Perris.  Two adult eagles were counted by the 16 participants at Lake Hemet.  Three eagles (2 adults and 1 juvenile) were counted by 9 observers at Lake Silverwood. 

The count coordinators from the Forest Service and State Recreation Areas would like to thank those volunteers for their dedication in getting up early and participating in the eagle census.  The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the volunteers! 

The total of 9 bald eagles observed during the count may under-represent the actual number of eagles that were here since not all of the usual sites were manned during the census.  With more winter storms in the forecast, we expect more migrant bald eagles to be moving into the area over the next few weeks.  Our highest counts are usually in January and February.

Please join us on this fun family-friendly experience – it is a special opportunity to see our beautiful and amazing national bird!  The remaining bald eagle counts for this winter are scheduled for the following 2015 Saturday mornings:  January 10th, February 14th, and March 14th.  No experience needed.  Signing up ahead of time is unnecessary – just show up at the designated time and location, dress warmly, bring binoculars and a watch. 

·       Big Bear Lake area volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact Rari Marks (rariemarks@fs.fed.us or 909-382-2600 x4075) for more information.  Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions – an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count if it has to be cancelled.  Contact the Discovery Center (909-382-2790) for information about Eagle Celebrations.  There will also be a free slideshow about bald eagles at 11:00 after the counts and on December 27th and January 17th. 

·       Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Rari Marks (rariemarks@fs.fed.us or 909-382-2600 x4075) for more information.  Please call 909-382-2832 for cancellation due to winter weather conditions – an outgoing message will be left by 6:30 am on the morning of the count if it has to be cancelled. 

·       Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area volunteers should plan to meet at the Visitor Center at 8:00 a.m. for orientation.  Contact Kathy Williams or Mark Wright for more information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303 between 8:00 and 4:00; or email: khwilliams@parks.ca.gov). 

·       Lake Hemet volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation.  Contact Heidi Hoggan (hhoggan@fs.fed.us or 909-382-2945) for more information. 

·       Lake Perris State Recreation Area volunteers should plan to meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8:00 for orientation.  Contact the office for more information at 951-940-5600. 

See websites for additional information about the San Bernardino National Forest (http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sanbernardino/) and the California State Recreation Areas (www.parks.ca.gov)