Advertisement

Wintering bald eagles spotted in California, Kansas and Nevada

"With the recent winter storms here and up north, we expect more eagles to have moved south," said Forest Service biologist Rari Marks.

By Brooks Hays
A mother bald eagle guards the nest while the father scouts for food. Photo courtesy of NASA
A mother bald eagle guards the nest while the father scouts for food. Photo courtesy of NASA

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- In the winter, as lakes, rivers and streams begin to freeze in much of the northern United States and Canada, many bald eagles trek southwars. Volunteers in the Midwest and West are gathering in parks and wilderness areas to help conservation officials track arriving bald eagles to determine the health of wintering populations.

In Kansas, Southern California and Nevada, volunteers working with local wildlife agencies are beginning to witness the influx of bald eagles around lakes, reservoirs and rivers in their states.

Advertisement

"Bald eagles in particular are fascinating," birder Bob Haber told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, as he searched for the winged predators on the shores of Nevada's Lake Mead. "They're just beautiful birds, especially in flight. They're very bold. And when they sit and are looking out over the horizon for food, it's just an amazing animal."

Haber and his wife, Liz, have -- along with other volunteers and wildlife officials -- witnessed a especially healthy stock of juvenile bald eagles this season, suggesting the eagles' reproductive cycle remains strong. It's another positive sign that the once vulnerable species continues to thrive.

Advertisement

In Kansas, the state wildlife agency is hosting a number of events to encourage volunteers to come out and help spot and count the bald and golden eagles that are arriving around places like Clinton Lake, west of Lawrence.

Park rangers in Southern California are also encouraging nature lovers in their neck of the woods to come out and look for the majestic creatures in the coming weeks.

"With the recent winter storms here and up north, we expect more eagles to have moved south and are hoping to see even more on the January count," Forest Service biologist Rari Marks told Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. "January and February are when we typically have the most bald eagles in Southern California, and it's a great time to go for a bald eagle search."

Annual eagle counts were established as a tradition in 1979 by the National Wildlife Federation. Today, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey partner with state and local wildlife agencies to survey the species' resurgence.

In 1963, there were just over 400 mating bald eagle pairs in the entire United States. But the species, which has been federally protected since 1973, have since made a remarkable comeback. Today, their numbers are approaching precolonization population totals.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement