Monday, February 8, 2010

Winter Birding - Golden Eagle Survey

With all of the summer pics that I have been posting you might think that I am hibernating over the winter. Spending all winter sleeping in a nice warm place sounds good, at least for a few minutes, but its not my style. So I have been out taking pics and participating in some fun events.
In January I participated in the Annual Golden Eagle Survey, which is coordinated through the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN. Each year we count the golden eagles that winter in southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. This is my third year doing the survey so I contemplated asking for my own route but I was not sure that my car could handle the back roads and hills in the area, especially if the weather was not cooperative.
So I headed down to White Water State Park to join the group that was counting down there. When I arrived I found that there were about 20 cars, that were broken into two groups, that were surveying the park area. Since I thought that there were more then enough people to cover the park, in 2009 we had 4 or 5 cars, I decided to work some of the back roads between the park and Wabasha on my own, the weather was very cooperative this year.
While traveling the back roads I found a dozen bald eagles, one of which was an immature, and three red-tailed hawks but unfortunately no golden eagles. So I stopped back at the Eagle Center so I could get a shot of Don, the education golden eagle at the center. This year, the 6th year of the count, there were over 130 volunteers and 93 golden eagles were counted. Most of the eagles were in Buffalo County in Wisconsin where 25 volunteers covered 15 routes and counted 60 golden eagles. Next year I think that I will have to see if I can get a route in Buffalo County.

13 comments:

Colleen said...

I just love the color of his eyes. Beautiful.

KaHolly said...

What a treat to be able to participate in a Golden Eagle Survey, even if you didn't see any. Here in N. New England and E. Nova Scotia, we see very few Golden Eagles, and when do it's always a moment I refer to as when "time stood still".

Randi said...

What a lovely capture. And the profile is breathtaking!
We have e few Golden Eagles here, where I live. In winter, this is the best place in Europe to see birds of prey, particularly eagles.

awarewriter said...

Magnificent creature. I like the photo of the waterway. Great scene. We have lots of red tails in our neck of the woods. They are big hawks. Have a few smaller species too but I've never seen an eagle around here (South Jersey).

jay said...

What a very handsome bird he is! Lovely shot!

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous captures as always! Love the eagle, how regal he/she is. And I love the picture of the autumn meadowhawk! Of course, I always love all your photos, a chance to see so many things I'll never have an opportunity to see "up close and personal"! Thanks for the fun! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Sistertex said...

Hey!!! I love Whitewater state park. It is a great place to go. We have seen Eagles there as well. Beautiful place - very nice photos.

ksdoolittle said...

I've been on owl surveys with much the same results! But still had a blast!

LadyFi said...

Lovely shots of snow.. and Don - wow! What a majestic creature.

Vicky said...

Great photos !!! Thanks for sharing!

Guy D said...

Marvelous images to say the least.

All the best
Guy
Regina In Pictures

2sweetnsaxy said...

Beautiful shot of the eagle. I've yet to see one. Hawks yes. Eagles, no.

Nishant said...

, this is the best place in Europe to see birds of prey, particularly eagles.

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