By Gerrelaine Alcordo
On Saturday March 12th, the fourth and last bald eagle count of the winter was conducted by local Federal and State biologists and volunteers around several lakes in the southern California. Several dozen bald eagles typically spend their winter vacations around southern California’s lakes, adding to a few year-round resident nesting bald eagles in the area.
A total of twelve bald eagles (five adults and seven subadults/juveniles) were observed by 120 eagle-eyed observers during the 1-hour count period on Saturday morning. Bald eagles acquire the full white head and tail in their 5th year. Until then, they are have different plumages of brown and white.
Kathy Williams from Silverwood State Recreation Area reported that two bald eagles, both of which were subadults, were observed by “33 wonderful participants”. Ken Kietzer (Senior Environmental Scientist at Lake Perris State Recreation Area) reported two subadult bald eagles, one of which was about 4 years old and had plumage that was close to the adult plumage. Twenty-seven participants helped with the Lake Perris census. Fifteen participants watched the nesting pair of adults tending their nest at Lake Hemet.
Fifteen participants scanned the skies at Lake Arrowhead, spotting one subadult and two adult bald eagles. Thirty participants helped with the census at Big Bear Lake where three eagles (1 adult and 2 subadults) were counted.
The count coordinators from the Forest Service and State Recreation Areas would like to thank those volunteers for their dedication in getting up early and participating in the eagle censuses this winter. The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the volunteers!
This was the last winter count for bald eagles this season. Please join us next winter to experience the thrill of seeing our national bird and helping with citizen science data collection. Counts are conducted on the second Saturday of the month December through March. Contact information:
Big Bear Lake and Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory: Robin Eliason (email@example.com or 909-382-2832)
Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area: Contact Kathy Williams or Mark Wright 760-389-2303; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lake Hemet: Ann Bowers (email@example.com or 909-382-2935)
Lake Perris State Recreation Area: 951-940-5600.
By Gerrelaine Alcordo