Alex Patia, with the New Mexico Wildlife Center, gives a short presentation to volunteers Jan. 4, 2020 during the eagle count at Abiquiu Lake. Patia discussed how to identify immature and mature eagles and more. Courtesy/
ABIQUIU — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) staff at Abiquiu Lake will host their annual midwinter eagle survey 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022.
The event is free and open to the public.
Volunteers are asked to meet at the Abiquiu Lake Visitor Center for registration beginning at 9 a.m. Hot coffee and snacks will be provided during registration.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., the New Mexico Wildlife Center will present a short educational program about eagles and other possible birds that could be seen during the survey.
The eagle count will begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 8.
All volunteers are asked to dress warmly and consider current weather conditions. Spotting scopes, binoculars, and/or long-range cameras also are recommended to aid in spotting eagles.
The purpose of the eagle count survey is to gather individuals to help count eagles along standard, non-overlapping survey routes as part of a nationwide midwinter bald eagle survey. It also is 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.
To join the event, come to the Abiquiu Lake Visitor Center at 4731 Hwy 96, Abiquiu, NM, 87510, at 9 a.m., Jan. 8, 2022. No pre-registration is required, and all are welcome! The Abiquiu Lake Visitor Center is located on Hwy 96, just 2 miles west of the Hwy 84 junction.