Citizen scientists needed to count bald eagles
■ By Staff Reports / The Valley Chronicle
The first bald eagle count of the winter was conducted Dec. 10 by local federal and state biologists and citizen scientists around several lakes in southern California. Several dozen bald eagles typically spend their winter vacations around southern California’s lakes, adding to a few resident nesting bald eagles that stay year-round.
A total of eleven bald eagles (7 adults and 4 subadults/juveniles) were observed by 101 eagle-eyed observers during the 1-hour count period Saturday morning. Bald eagles acquire the full white head and tail in their fifth year; until then, they have different plumages of brown and white.
Two adult bald eagles were observed by 28 people at Lake Perris. Fifteen participants watched the pair of adults at Lake Hemet. Six participants scanned the skies at Lake Arrowhead, spotting two adult bald eagles. 5 eagles (1 adult and 4 subadults) were counted by 40 people at Big Bear Lake.
Volunteers are needed for the upcoming bald eagle counts on the following Saturday mornings this winter: Jan. 14, Feb. 11, and March 11. 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. Counting eagles at Lake Hemet is fun, easy, and only takes a couple of hours. Participants meet at 8:30 at Lake Hemet for coordination and instructions. They are at their observation sites from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and then return to turn in the observation forms.
Lake Hemet participants 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.