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Midwinter Bald Eagle Watch at Abiquiu Lake, N.M.

Published Dec. 30, 2013

ABIQUIU, N.M. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Abiquiu Lake will be hosting its annual Midwinter Eagle Watch on Saturday January 4th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Volunteers will be meeting at the Abiquiu Lake project office, and the event is open to the public.

At the start, The Wildlife Center will present a short educational program on Bald Eagles, featuring their non-releasable Bald Eagle, Maxwell. It will be an excellent opportunity to view a mature Bald Eagle up close. Additionally this year the Wildlife Center will be presenting Grace, TWC’s research and educational Golden Eagle. Hot coffee and snacks will be available.

The purpose of the watch is to collect data which will assist in national and local tracking of the bird’s numbers. It is also an opportunity to encourage shared stewardship with the public to help keep track of wildlife populations and ensure that their habitat is adequate for their numbers. Volunteers are asked to dress warmly and bring binoculars, notepads, and drinking water.

National Wildlife Federation officials have asked that participants in each state count eagles along standard routes to provide data trends. The basic objectives of the survey are to index the total wintering Bald Eagle population in the lower 48 states, to determine eagle distribution during a standardized survey period, and to identify previously unrecognized areas of important winter habitat.

The annual midwinter survey represents a unique source of long-term, baseline data. Unlike nesting surveys, it provides information on both breeding and non-breeding segments of the population at a potentially limiting time of year. The count has become a national tradition since 1984, and is an annual event at Abiquiu Lake. In addition to providing information on eagle trends, distribution, and habitat, the count has helped to create public interest in the conservation of our national symbol, the Bald Eagle.

The project office is located on Hwy 96 just 2 miles west of the Hwy 84 junction. For additional information, call the Abiquiu Lake Project Office at 505-685-4371.

John Mueller

Release no. 13-012