There are definitely bald eagles in Carson Valley, with the folks participating in the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count spotting 10 on New Year’s Eve.
Of course that’s just a fraction of the 4,184 European starlings or 1,265 Canada geese the nearly two score bird counters recorded.
The real find that day, according to organizer Ben Sonnenberg, wasn’t the 283 red tailed hawks, but the two red-breasted sapsuckers.
“It’s a unique woodpecker species, living up to its name by licking sap from a pine tree,” he said.
The bird count only spotted a single golden eagle.
Opening with 2 feet of snow recorded in Minden, Eagles and Agriculture will be gearing up for some sloppy conditions this week.
As of Monday, there were still spots available for most of the events, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alicia Main.
For tickets to Eagles and Agriculture, visit carsonvalleynv.org or call 775-782-8144.
Fortunately, the event opens indoors on Thursday with the annual reception and photography exhibit, which should give the fields a chance to dry out a bit.
“There is an expected visit from several falconers and their birds for up close viewing,” Main said. “Have a glass of wine and an hors d’oeuvres or two while you meet fellow enthusiasts.”
The official tours begin on Friday with a new barn visit added to the itinerary.
“The morning wetland tour will feature large numbers of waterfowl and migrant birds on an exclusive property we haven’t visited in a few years,” Main said. “Be prepared for a short walk and bring your cameras, spotting scopes and binoculars. The afternoon features a new tour this year as we visit three historic Carson Valley barns to give visitors an opportunity to photograph these unique buildings and hear about some of their history from long time Carson Valley families.”
The event returns to the great indoors on Friday night for the Falconer’s Dinner at the Carson Valley Inn, with a presentation on golden eagle rehabilitation from Bird of Prey Health Group veterinarian Dr. Vickie Joseph.
The highlight of this week’s events is the ranch eagle tours on Saturday morning, where participants get to visit area ranches and see bald eagles and other raptors.
“The hallmark of the weekend, this is always a wonderful way to see these birds,” Main said. “The afternoon turns to the Owl Prowl, checking out local barns and trees for the reclusive birds. The day is capped with the photo workshop where photographers can learn valuable tips for camera operation and adjustment in capturing that perfect shot.”
The photographers head out into the field on Sunday morning for a chance to put what they learned to work and have a private guided tour of the ranches.
“The Highway Byway tour also leaves Sunday morning to check out raptors and wildfire from the local roadways, taking a tour of the south end of the Carson Valley with endless opportunities for scenery with limited traffic,” Main said. “Past years have proven extremely fruitful.”