Big Bear Lake, CA, March 12, 2014 – The last of four eagle censuses this winter was conducted on Saturday, with local biologists getting help from 57 volunteers. Observers spotted five bald eagles around Big Bear Lake during the one-hour count, including four adults and one juvenile. Juvenile eagles are the same size as the adults, but have a brown head and tail for their first few years of life.
So, where do eagles hang out? One pair of adults was seen in the neighborhoods at Eagle Point. The other pair was in the Grout Bay area of Fawnskin in the closure area; that bald eagle nest area there will be protected as long as the pair remains there. The juvenile was on the south shore in the Gilner Point area and then was seen flying towards Fawnskin.
Many of the bald eagles have started migrating out of southern California to breed in the north, but one breeding pair has set up a nesting territory here and are year-round residents. Unfortunately, the two chicks that hatched in early February did not survive the severe storm that followed.
The four monthly counts are conducted between December and March to estimate the number of bald eagles that are wintering in lakes throughout the area. The highest numbers are typically in February and March.