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Audubon bird counters spot eagles, among many other species

Birders gathered in Carson Valley on the final day of the 120th Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Sunday.

Birders Jeff Bleam, Carol Grenier and Patrick Pevey said they started at 7 a.m. and saw 58 different species, counting more than 1,000 birds including two golden eagles and two bald eagles.

“We drove 41 miles and hiked six miles,” Carson City resident Grenier said of the trio’s day. “We covered the whole area between Muller and Genoa Lane and then over to Airport and Johnson Lane.”

In addition to the eagles, the trio spotted lots of different kinds of hawks, ducks, harriers, herons, a mountain blue bird, hairy woodpecker and a kingfisher, in addition to owls, both barn and great horned.

“It takes a lot of patience in spotting to see what comes your way and what you can see,” said Pevey, who is also from Carson City.

Washoe County resident Bleam said he has participated in the Valley bird count since 2016.

An experienced birder, he said he also does the Carson City, Truckee Meadows, Pyramid Lake and Fallon counts.

“It’s hard to tell what today’s total count was,” Bleam said. “I would say probably over 1,000. We got good numbers on the raptors. We saw some calves born, too, so they’re moving up.”

That’s good news for this month’s Eagles and Agriculture, Jan. 23-26.

The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce added some larger buses on the Wetlands and Highways & Byways Raptor tours and there are spots available.

Both those tours are on Jan. 24. The big Ranch and Eagle Tour is sold out, but there is a waiting list available at http://www.carsonvalleynv.org or by calling the chamber at 782-8144.

Anyone seeking to wet their raptor beak will have an opportunity to hear Under Nevada Skies owner Jim Woods talk 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the River Fork Ranch Preserve, 381 Genoa Lane. Donations of $10 are suggested.