A bald eagle as seen through a lens during the 2019 event. Photo Courtesy USACE
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Abiquiu Lake will host its annual midwinter bald eagle count event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.
The event is open to the public. Volunteers will meet at the Abiquiu Lake Visitor Center. The New Mexico Wildlife Center will present a short educational program on bald eagles. At 10:00 a.m., volunteers will be directed to various locations around the lake to begin the eagle count. Volunteers are asked to dress warmly and bring binoculars or spotting scopes if they have them.
The purpose of the eagle count event is to gather individuals to help count eagles along standard, non-overlapping survey routes as part of a nationwide midwinter bald eagle survey. It is also a great opportunity to encourage shared environmental stewardship efforts with the public to promote wildlife conservation.
National Wildlife Federation officials have asked participants in each state to count eagles along standard routes to provide data on count trends. The basic objectives of the survey are to index the total wintering bald eagle populations in the lower 48 states, determine eagle distribution during a standardized survey period, and identify previously unrecognized areas of important winter habitat.
The annual midwinter survey represents a unique source of long-term, baseline data. Unlike nesting surveys, this provides information on both breeding and non-breeding segments of the population at a potentially limiting time of the 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 bald eagles and their conservation.
The Abiquiu Lake 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.