Biologists on ‘Chick-Watch’ as next bald eagle count approaches

Release Date: Feb 6, 2018  

                                                                                                                               For Immediate Release

                Feb. 5, 2018

                         Media Contact: Zach Behrens

                         (909) 382-2788

     zbehrens@fs.fed.us

Facebook: SanBernardinoNF

Twitter: @SanBernardinoNF

 

Biologists on ‘Chick-Watch’ as next bald eagle count approaches

Two bald eagle eggs could hatch later this week

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — All eyes are on the nest of a pair of bald eagles near Big Bear Lake as the anticipated hatching of two eggs nears. Hatching of the eggs, which were laid in early January, is expected sometime between Wednesday and Sunday of this week.

The nonprofit Friends of Big Bear Valley installed a "nest cam" with the support of the San Bernardino National Forest. The livestream can be viewed at http://www.iws.org/livecams.html (Select "Big Bear Eagle Cam, Big Bear Lake). The nest is located on U.S. Forest Service managed land. To protect the eagles from disturbance, the area surrounding the nest is completely closed to all public entry.

The public is invited to join local biologists on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, to help count bald eagles wintering around six Inland Empire lakes. Observers meet at one of the count locations for a short orientation and then they proceed to their observation sites where they record their observations between 9 and 10 a.m. Then they return to the meeting location to turn in the data sheet. The biologists use those data to determine the minimum number of eagles in the area.

No experience is needed. Signing up ahead of time is unnecessary — just show up at the designated time and location, dress warmly, bring binoculars and a watch.

Information on the different eagle count sites follow:

Big Bear Lake area volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (reliason@fs.fed.us 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 a.m. 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 a.m. after the counts.

Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (reliason@fs.fed.us 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 a.m. 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 a.m. for orientation. Contact Mark Wright for more information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or email: mark.wright@parks.ca.gov).

Lake Hemet volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Ann Bowers (annbowers@fs.fed.us 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 a.m. for orientation. For more information call Lake Perris SRA at 951-940- 5600 or the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 951-940-5657.

The annual bald eagle counts take place every winter for four months. The next and last one of the season will be Saturday, March 10, 2018.

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The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 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.