Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tahoe bald eagle counts in January

Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Counts begins in January

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.--- The US Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is coordinating the annual mid-winter bald eagle count on Friday, January 09, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 1200 Noon, and the public is invited to participate. The purpose of the Midwinter Bald Eagle survey is to monitor the status of Bald Eagle wintering populations in the contiguous United States by estimating national and regional count trends, overall and by age class.

This year there will be an additional bald eagle count on Friday, January 16, 2009 from 9:00 a.m. to 1200 Noon to participate in. There are 26 stations located around the lake and the Forest Service would like to get these completely filled on both dates. A possible third survey may be conducted at a later date to be determined.

The count is part of the National Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey that was initiated by the National Wildlife Federation in 1979 in the U.S. This year the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is coordinating efforts in our part of the country this winter. The results of the count will be combined with those from elsewhere in the state and across the nation to generate an index (an indirect measure) of bald eagle populations across the U. S. Please visit the following website to learn more about the history and results of these annual surveys for several routes in the National migration flyway at

Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group is using satellite transmitter technology to investigate the life history of bald eagles wintering and breeding in California in cooperation with the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Water and Power. A summary of the results can be found at

A total of 10 bald eagles (8 adults and 2 immatures) were observed at 25 locations within the Lake Tahoe Basin in January of 2008.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP no later than December 19, 2008 to Rena Escobedo at 530.543.2733 or to be included in the bald eagle mid-winter count. Volunteers will receive complete instructions.

You must be able to positively identify bald eagles and determine their age (adult or year of juvenile based on plumage) from a distance. Binoculars, the survey form and map, warm clothing, and a good field guide are essential for the survey. If you have a spotting scope or can borrow one, please bring it to your survey location.

If you have any questions, please contact Rena Escobedo at 530.543.2733 or

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