US Forest Service Conducts Annual Bald Eagle Count, Confirms 15 Birds

US Forest Service Conducts Annual Bald Eagle Count, Confirms 15 Birds

Martín Di Felice

San Bernardino County, CA

Despite the rain and fog, over 150 people came out this morning for the last winter bald eagle count of the season in 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 on Sunday, March 11 and Monday, March 12. 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. They and their parents can be observed live on a webcam provided by the nonprofit Friends of the Big Bear Valley (to view, select “Big Bear Eagle Cam, Big Bear Lake” at the link). To protect the eagles from disturbance, the area surrounding the nest, which is near Big Bear Lake, is completely closed to all public entry.

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 sub adult (54 participants)
  • Lake Arrowhead: 2 adults (17 participants)
  • Silverwood Lake: 2 adults and 2 sub adults (23 participants)
  • Lake Perris: 2 adults and 1 sub adult (59 participants)
  • Lake Hemet: 2 adult 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 censuses this winter.  The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the citizen scientists! 

The public can still look for bald eagles in the Big Bear area. 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.

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