14 Bald Eagles Spotted Nesting Near San Bernardino Mountain Lakes

On Saturday March 11th, the fourth bald eagle count of the winter was conducted by local federal and state biologists and volunteers around lakes in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.
Volunteers enjoyed clear skies and warm temperatures while looking for America’s national bird. The count was successful in tallying the bald eagles spending their winter vacations at local lakes.
A grand total of 15 eagles (9 adults and 5 juveniles, 1 eaglet) were observed at the lake areas during the one hour count. Six eagles (3 adults, 2 juveniles, and 1 eaglet) were observed in the Big Bear/Baldwin Lake area; five eagles (2 adults and 3 juveniles) at Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory; 1 adult eagle at Silverwood Lake; and 1 adult eagle was observed at Lake Hemet in Riverside County. While no eagles were observed during the count at Lake Perris, state park ecologist Ken Keitzer stated “the volunteers had a really good time and saw lots of other cool birds.” Volunteers at Diamond Valley Lake, a new census location, observed two adult bald eagles. Juvenile eagles are distinguished by a brown head and tail; adults are recognized by the famous white head and tail – it takes 4-5 years to acquire full adult coloration. Juvenile eagles are the same size as the adults.
Approximately 222 volunteers participated in the 1-hour eagle census (54 in the Big Bear area, 21 at Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory, 32 at Lake Hemet, 45 at Silverwood Lake, 60 at Lake Perris, and 10 volunteers at Diamond Valley Lake). The Forest Service and state recreation area biologists expressed their gratitude to the volunteers for their dedication in getting up early and participating in the eagle census.
While this was the last census for this season, the Forest Service and California Department of Fish and Game need more volunteers to monitor the nest site at Big Bear Lake and provide the public with opportunities to view the eaglet from a safe distance. The volunteers will be stationed with spotting scopes at Dana Point Park in Fawnskin. “We are working on getting volunteers scheduled to be there at least on the weekends and hopefully on a lot of weekdays,” said volunteer coordinator Meredith Brandon. People interested in helping monitor the bald eagle nest may contact Brandon at (909) 382-2842 or mbrandon@nationalforestassociation.org.
District biologist Robin Eliason will be presenting a talk on bald eagles at 11 a.m. on March 17th and March 24th at the San Bernardino National Forest Big Bear Discovery Center. For additional information about the bald eagle nest viewing opportunities, contact the Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 382-2789.

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