Final report of the 6th Annual Wintering Golden Eagle Survey of the Bluffs and Coulee Region of the Upper Mississippi River Watershed from Scott Mehus, Education Director, National Eagle Center, Wabasha, Minnesota.
"On January 16th, 2010 over 130 observers were out to specifically look for Golden Eagles! 93 Golden Eagles were seen in the survey area which covered southeastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. More than 40 routes were covered in 12 counties and observers drove more than 2,000 miles of coulee region back roads and spent more than 400 observer hours looking for Golden Eagles.
As in previous years Buffalo County, Wisconsin continues to be the heart of the wintering Golden Eagle population. On the count day 25 observers covered 15 routes in Buffalo County and found 60 Golden Eagles. Overall, Wisconsin totaled 69 Golden Eagles, and observers spotted 24 Goldens in Minnesota.
Being thorough observers and avid birdwatchers many other raptor sightings were also documented. During the survey raptor species seen included Bald and Golden Eagles, Red-tailed, Rough-legged, Red-shouldered, Sharp-shinned, and Cooper’s Hawks, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel and Northern Shrike. More than 700 Bald Eagles were seen, most in places away from the Mississippi River. Some observers also noted whether the bald eagles were adults or juveniles; 552 adults and 95 juveniles Bald Eagles were recorded. In addition 316 Red-tailed Hawks were observed."
A magnificent Golden Eagle (by permission) from Montanagirl (Mona). Some of her photography can be seen in the most recent issue of Birds and Bloom.