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Wintering Golden Eagle Survey Results

Saturday, January 18, 2014


From Scott Mehus:

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's survey. Once again, it was a chance to get out and enjoy the beauty of the blufflands, and see some birds. Every year we learn more about these amazing birds and we couldn't do it without your support!

Click here to view results on an interactive map of the survey area!

On January 18th, 171 volunteers combed the blufflands during the The 10th Annual Wintering Golden Eagle Survey. The day began snowy and overcast in many areas, limiting visibility. But the afternoon turned bright and sunny, and the patience of many observers was rewarded with views of golden eagles and other raptors soaring over the bluffs. In all, 112 golden eagles were observed throughout the survey area.

In addition to golden eagles, 878 bald eagles and 400 red-tail hawks were also counted. All together, the observers volunteered nearly 700 hours and drove more than 4,600 miles in search of golden eagles in the one-day survey.

One of the most notable findings from this year's survey was the number of juvenile golden eagles represented a much smaller proportion of the total - just 19 of the 112 golden eagles observed were sub-adults - than in previous years.

This matches what I've observed all season. I've probably seen 40-50 individual golden eagles this winter, and only 3 of them have been juveniles. Typically, juvenile golden eagles make up 25%-30% of the birds observed during the survey.

The Numbers

Golden Eagle 112

Adult 93
Juvenile 19

Bald Eagle 878

Adult 720
Juvenile 140

Red-tail Hawk 400

American Kestrel 55

More than 80 Eastern Bluebirds!

Scott Mehus
Golden Eagle Project Co-coordinator
Education Director