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Birding events flock to January

That's one. A hawk in a field north of Muller Lane may well be counted on Saturday at the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
Kurt Hildebrand

Bird watching is a popular hobby in Carson Valley during the best of times, but with the limitations imposed by the coronavirus it has taken off.

On Saturday, bird watchers are invited to participate in the 121st annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count in Douglas County.

Coordinator Jim Woods of Birding Under Nevada Skies said the longest ongoing scientific survey in the United States has been conducted in the Valley for 11 years.



The local count will be hosted at the River Fork Ranch just east of Genoa with the help of the Lahontan Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.

Bird counters will be out 7 a.m. and will wrap up at 5 p.m.



The ranch is located at 381 Genoa Lane, but volunteers fan out across the Valley after getting their assignment. They should also bring binoculars or a spotting scope and food and supplies for the day.

“The event will require masks and social distancing in compliance with Nevada COVID requirements,” Woods said. “Participants will remain in their cars and not share transportation during the survey.”

The traditional morning coffee and tally dinner have been deleted in due to the virus. For Information and to sign up for the Count contact Woods at jim.woods@charter.netor call 775-720-7009.

The bird count is just the opening act for bird enthusiasts in January.

The annual Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey is 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 8 at Lake Tahoe. 

Volunteers stationed at 26 spots around the Lake count the number of eagles they see, which usually amounts to 18-25, according to the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science.

In the Valley, sign-ups are underway for the annual Eagles and Agriculture tours and workshop sponsored by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce.

In recognition of the current coronavirus outbreak, the opening reception and photography exhibit at the CVIC Hall in Minden will be split in two on Jan. 28.

The four-day event includes tours on Jan. 29 and 30, a guided hike and tour of Valley historic sites and a guided hike on Jan. 31.

The event also features a photography contest for best eagle image and best agricultural or wildlife image.

Tours fill up fast and some may already be gone. To find out more or to sign up go tohttp://www.carsonvalleynv.org or call 775-782-8144.