For more than 20 years raptor viewing against the backdrop of historic ranching locations has been a staple event in the Carson Valley. After being canceled last year because of the Coronavirus, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eagles and Agriculture event returns Jan. 27-30.
The highlights of the event are expected to return with traditional ranch tours, eagle watching, photography opportunities and an all-new venue featuring the Bently Heritage Distillery and ranch operation.
The event kicks off Jan. 27 with the photographer’s reception where local photographers and the Carson Valley photo club showcase their work. Live birds and their handlers will be in attendance providing visitors with their own photo opportunities and to learn about the featured birds throughout the event. There are two sessions, an early bird session beginning 3:30-5 p.m. and an evening session 5:30-7 p.m. at the CVIC Hall in Minden.
Friday morning the tours across local wetlands begins. Along this tour, visitors can view the variety of birds, including waterfowl and migrant birds who call the Carson Valley their home during the winter. In the afternoon the tour ventures on to the Bently Heritage Distillery and ranch. Starting at the distillery with a tour and tasting of the locally created spirits, followed by a bus tour to the ranch where the grains are grown and stored for the distillery. Capping the day is the Falconers dinner at the CVIC Hall in Minden presenting an opportunity to dine with fellow Eagles & Ag attendees and see the live raptors once again.
Saturday is the popular Ranch and Eagle tour in the morning and the Owl Prowl in the afternoon. Attendees get a “behind the scenes” tour of local ranches, learn about ranching and conservation while having the opportunity to view and photograph eagles and other raptors. Attendees then visit local historic barns to see some of the inhabitants and, weather permitting, a demonstration of falconry. The tour concludes with the photography workshop where participants can lean the basics of camera operations and photo editing.
The weekend concludes Sunday with a “hands on” photography workshop with local photographer JT Humphrey and special access to local ranches for more photo opportunities.
The Highway and Byway tour is scheduled for Sunday morning. This includes a bus tour of the local roadway in search of Butoes, Accipiters, falcons and other birds which commonly winter in the Carson Valley. The day ends with a guided hike along a local trail to enjoy more of the scenery and have a final opportunity to view wildlife, including eagles.
Due to the Coronavirus some restrictions mandated by the state will be in effect, including social distancing and masks will be required and provided, if necessary, while on the buses and indoors and not eating. Tours will provide ample opportunity to spread out at locations and keep social distancing.
Tickets are available on the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce website at carsonvalleynv.org. For more information and to register or call their office at 782-8144.