WHERE TO LOOK FOR EAGLES
During the day, eagles are usually seen perched on snags or dead-topped trees along the shore of the lake. They sit there conserving energy until they see likely prey, often as far away as a half mile. When they take flight, they’re usually intent on capturing their quarry in curved claws two inches long.
As you move into an eagle habitat area, remember to keep your activity to a minimum. An eagle watching you could miss a meal. An eagle disturbed by you could waste energy flying away.
HOW DO YOU TELL THE AGE OF AN EAGLE
Eagles reach full size at six months. For most of their first year they have brown eyes, beaks and dark brown bodies. Around the time of their first birthday, they begin to add some white to their feathering: a mottled look of spots. Sometime around three, a white triangle of feathers appears on their back. From then on they gradually begin to get the white head and tail feathers of a mature eagle. And remarkably, their beak changes from black to yellow. It’s virtually impossible to tell male from female, although the female is generally slightly larger, which is true of most raptors (birds of prey).
WHO COUNTS THE EAGLES?
One Saturday a month from December through March, volunteers help count eagles around Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Silverwood Lakes. The census data is used to track the population status over the years.
If you’d like to join the eagle count, contact the Big Bear Discovery Center for more information (909) 866-3437 ext 3909.
On any given day, depending upon weather and wind conditions, the eagles move to different locations around the lakes. For expert advise, check with the front desk at the Discovery Center and they’ll be delighted to assist you.