The U.S. Forest Service is asking for volunteers to help spot and count bald eagles in local parks and woodlands.
This is the 35th year that the Forest Service has enlisted the aid of wildlife lovers to help them come up with a count of the U.S. national bird in roosting areas in Southern California.
Participants - who are advised to dress warmly and perhaps bring hot coffee or cocoa - gather at about 8 a.m. and are assigned to specific areas to look for birds, Forest Service spokesman John Miller said in an interview.
“Each year it gets bigger and bigger,” Miller said, drawing more volunteers who, happily, are spotting more birds.
Bald eagles were nearly eradicated in parts of the U.S. in the 1960s due to poisoning from the pesticide DDT, but they are beginning to make a comeback.
Those who participate in the counting will attend a presentation to learn about the birds, Miller said. Then they’ll be directed to a lakeside spot to watch for them. Volunteers will be given maps and data sheets to record the sightings.
The counting takes place for about an hour. Observers are encouraged to bring cameras, watches, and binoculars, Miller said, and children are welcome.
Bird counts will be held on Dec. 15, Jan. 12, Feb. 9, and March 9. The events will take place at Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory, Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, Lake Hemet and Lake Perris State Recreation Area.
Full details, including times, locations and contact information, can be found by clicking here.