Volunteers Needed for Remaining Winter Eagle Counts

SAN JACINTO – Bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts who haven’t taken part in the U.S. Forest Service’s winter bald eagle count in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains have another chance this weekend.

Rangers will hold a census on Saturday and are still in need of volunteers to watch for activity in traditional nesting areas around Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Lake Hemet, Lake Gregory, Lake Perris and Silverwood Lake.

No prior experience is needed, just warm clothes, a pair of binoculars and an hour to spare for each count, according to agency spokesman John Miller.

During last month’s count, a total 14 eagles were spotted — five at Big Bear, three at Arrowhead, two each at Hemet and Silverwood, and one each at Gregory and Perris.

Miller said children and groups are welcome to take part. Each eagle count will be preceded by a brief orientation meeting.

Eagles generally nest in the lakeside areas from late November to early April, according to the USFS. This is the 36th winter census in the Inland Empire. The counts began in mid-December. After Saturday, there will be one more count on March 8.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the eagle count at Lake Hemet was asked to call (909) 382-2935; at Lake Perris, (951) 940-5600; Big Bear Lake, or Lakes Arrowhead and Gregory, (909) 382-2816; and Silverwood Lake, (760) 389- 2303.

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