Hundreds soar out to Carson Valley’s 16th Eagles and Agriculture |

Hundreds soar out to Carson Valley’s 16th Eagles and Agriculture

by Rachel Spacek
'Ryuko' the Aplomado Falcon gets up close and personal with Tim Cashman of Gardnerville Saturday afternoon during the 'Owl Crawl' tour during the Eagles & Agriculture event in the Carson Valley.
Brad Coman |

Hundreds of birders, agriculture lovers and community members alike flocked to the sold out annual gathering of Carson Valley’s Eagles and Agriculture. Eagles and Agriculture celebrated its 16th year this year as a combined effort between the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension, the Nature Conservancy, Lahonton Audubon Society and Valley ranchers.

The event began on Thursday evening with the Welcome Reception and Photography Exhibit at the Douglas County Community and Senior Center. There, attendees were visited by many birds of prey handled by falconers. Some of the birds on display were a Siberian Goshawk and a Whie Gyrflacon. At the event, many Eagles and Agriculture photographers set their wildlife photographs up on display.

Carson Valley Photo Club had many of their members’ photos on display at the event.

“Eagles and Agriculture is a great way to promote Carson Valley and all of the unique nature and people we have here,” said N.J. Thompson, a member of the photo club.

One of the attendees admiring the photography was Cora Johnson. She said she attended the Eagles and Agriculture tours a few years ago and loved it.

“It is a great event and adventure for people to explore the area,” Johnson said.

She said her tour did not see any eagles, but that did not take away from the area’s beauty.

Nancy Hulsey, president of the Carson Valley Photo Club agrees. She said the tour is, “a fun way to learn and take photos and traverse the Carson Valley.”

The tours kicked off on Friday morning with the first tour of the Incline Village General Improvement District Wetlands area. The tour was led by Jim Woods of Birding Under Nevada Skies.

“We just moved here and wanted to explore the area,” said Hillary Turner, a recent Carson Valley resident on the tour.

In addition to providing an opportunity to explore, Steve Lewis, UNR Cooperative Extension chair of the Steering Committee, said one of the goals of the event is to get people interested in health and give them knowledge of where their local food comes from.

“We want people to learn about agriculture, we want to get people to care about where their food comes from and this gives them the opportunity to talk first hand with the ranchers who are producing their food,” Lewis said.

The Falconers’ Dinner took place after the tours on Friday evening where attendees got up close to falcons, hawks, owls and other raptors.

The weekend featured several more tours and a photography contest to find the best Carson Valley eagle, agricultural or wildlife image. Winners receive a $125 prize and photos will be judged for the next several weeks.

“It was a year that provided everything but an abundance of eagle sightings but we accept that chance every year,” said Bill Chernock, executive director of Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The eagles are here, they just weren’t very predictable this year.”

While eagle sightings were lacking this year, Eagles and Agriculture brought attendees a taste of Carson Valley wildlife and agriculture.