Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Eagles are Back!

Winter in Big Bear means lots of things and one of our most cherished events is the return of the American Bald Eagles to their winter hunting grounds!  Every winter, Big Bear Lake is a favorite spot for these majestic and beautiful birds.  That is the main reason that the lake itself is closed to boating during the winter months.

Bald eagles are usually found close to water because their diet is primarily made up of fish and ducks. As winter approaches in those northern regions, lakes freeze over and waterfowl fly south. For bald eagles, that means that the food they eat has become scarce. So, they head south looking for areas with abundant food supplies and end up wintering in sunny southern California!  

In the Southern California area there are 4 Saturdays that are devoted to counting the local eagle population.  At the first count, which was on December 21st, there were 11 eagles counted at various locations with Big Bear boasting 6 total (2 adults and 4 juveniles).  Other eagles were sighted at Lake Arrowhead, Silverwood lake and Lake Perris.  At the second "count", held on Saturday January 11th, 5 were sighted here at Big Bear Lake (3 adults & 2 juveniles).

2 more "counts" are scheduled for this winter, one on Saturday, February 8 and the final count will be on Saturday, March 8.  Big Bear Lake area volunteers will meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact the Discovery Center (909-382-2790) for information about Eagle Celebrations.

This is just one more reason why Big Bear Lake is a unique and special place to visit, winter or summer!  


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