Volunteers Needed to Count Bald Eagles
Release Date: Jan 7, 2016
U.S. Forest Service, San Bernardino National Forest
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gerrelaine Alcordo at (909) 382-2711
Volunteers Needed to Count Bald Eagles
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., January 4, 2016. Volunteers are needed to help count bald eagles in the annual winter bald eagle counts in and near the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains. Participants in December’s count observed a total of seven bald eagles. 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 numbers of bald eagles are usually in January and February.
Concurrent Bald Eagle counts are held at Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Lake Perris, and Lake Hemet. Some of these sites have held winter counts since 1978! Volunteers are stationed at vantage points around the lakes, where they watch for bald eagles during a 1-hour period on the count mornings. Volunteers record their observations on maps and data sheets. This is a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of our breath-taking national symbol. Brief orientations are conducted prior to the count so volunteers know where to go and what to do.
“Through this method, the agencies and land managers have learned a lot about which areas are important to eagles and how the populations are doing. But we can’t do it without a lot of volunteers – we need people to put on their eagle eyes to help us search. The more eyes and ears we have helping, the more likely it is that we won’t miss any eagles” said Forest Service biologist Robin Eliason.
We are carefully watching the predicted winter storms for this week. Please check with the count organizers listed below on Friday to see if the count will continue as planned.
The bald eagle counts for this winter are scheduled for the following Saturday mornings: January 9th, February 13th, and March 12th. 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 Robin Eliason (firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-382-2832) 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.
- Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (email@example.com or 909-382-2832) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Lake Hemet volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Ann Bowers (email@example.com or 909-382-2935) 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.
The bald eagle nest at Big Bear Lake now has a live-stream nest camera installed. The nesting pair, Lucy and Ricky, is expected to start working on the nest in late December. They typically lay eggs in early or mid-January. Be sure to check it out: http://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagle-cam.html
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).
About the U.S. Forest Service:
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. Learn more at http://www.fs.usda.gov/sbnf
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.