By Michael P. Neufeld
UPDATE – Tuesday, December 18 – 4:55 a.m.
Mountain Communities – The first bald eagle count of the season tallied four eagles.
Federal and state biologists and volunteers gathered at local mountain lakes to conduct the census and located four eagles (3 adults and 1 juvenile). Counts at Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory were cancelled due to hazardous road conditions on December 15.
Two adults were reported at Lake Hemet and 1 adult and 1 juvenile at Lake Perris, according to the U. S. Forest Service. No eagles were observed at Silverwood Lake.
The next scheduled eagle count will be on Saturday, January 12. Others are planned for February 9 and March 9. No experience is necessary.
Mountain Communities – One of the world’s most recognizable birds is the adult bald eagle.
However, identifying young immature bald eagles and adults from a distance can be a challenge. So if you’re up for the challenge, the U. S. Forest Service needs you on December 15, January 12, February 9 and March 9. Concurrent bald eagle counts are scheduled on those dates for Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory, Silverwood Lake, Lake Perris and Lake Hemet.
Volunteers — no experience necessary — can participate in one or all of the counts and all they need to bring is binoculars and a watch and dress warmly for the 60-minute eagle census. It a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of America’s national symbol. A brief orientation session is conducted prior to the count to assist volunteers in knowing what to do and where to go for the individual counts.
Signing up in advance of the monthly counts is not necessary, Volunteers should show up at the designated time and location.
“Through this method,” U. S. Forest Service biologist Robin Eliason, “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,” Eliason continued in a prepared media release, “we need their eyes to help us look.”
BIG BEAR LAKE – Volunteers are scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. at the Big Bear Discovery Center (41397 Highway 38 – Fawnskin). For additional information contact Eliason by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (909) 382-2832.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For information about Eagle Celebrations and tours contact the Big Bear Discovery Center at (909) 866-2789.
LAKE ARROWHEAD/LAKE GREGORY -Volunteers will gather at 8 a.m. at the Sky Forest Ranger Station on Highway 18 fort orientation. For additional information contact Eliason by E-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (909) 382-2832.
SILVERWOOD LAKE – The Visitor Center at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area will be the 8 a.m. gathering point for the volunteer orientation. Call Kathy Williams or Mark Wright at (760) 389-2303 about volunteering or taking an eagle tour. The contact hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAKE HEMET – Orientation for volunteers will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store (565712 Highway 74 – Mountain Center). For additional information contact Anne Poopantanapong at (909) 382-2935 or by E-mail at email@example.com.
LAKE PERRIS – Volunteers should plan to meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum (17801 Lake Perris drive – Perris) at 8 a.m. Contact the office at (951) 940-5600 for additional details.