By Susan A. Neufeld
San Bernardino, CA – Over 150 people came out on a rainy and fogy morning for the last winter bald eagle count of the season in the San Bernardino National Forest, and at two California State Parks.
15 bald eagles were confirmed: 10 adults, three juveniles and the two chicks from the nest in Big Bear. The bald eagle chicks, who hatched live on a webcam last month, will be four weeks old Sunday, March 11, 2018. Chicks grow rapidly and are usually one-foot tall at this age and will be fully grown by week nine, when their first flights may occur.
As thousands watched the chicks online, 158 participants fanned out across the region counting bald eagles at five lakes. The results: Big Bear Lake – 2 adults, 2 chicks, and possibly 1 subadult (54 participants). Lake Arrowhead – 2 adults (17 participants). Silverwood Lake – 2 adults and 2 subadults (23 participants). Lake Perris – 2 adults and 1 subadult (59 participants). Lake Hemet – 2 nesting bald eagles (5 participants).
Count coordinators, from San Bernardino National Forest and California State Parks, would like to thank all the participants for their dedication in getting up early and participating in the eagle census this winter. The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the citizen scientists! Volunteers will begin staffing a viewing station at Dana Point Park in Fawnskin, on the north shore of Big Bear Lake, on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Call the Big Bear Discovery Center at (909) 382-2790 before heading out.