Sixty-one people gathered and were scattered to 11 survey sites for the 9th annual Spring Eagle Survey, held March 5 in the Pipestem area of southern West Virginia. During the four hours of the survey, they spotted 38 bald and golden eagles soaring the skies.
“The volunteers all have a common interest–birds–and on this particular day, eagles,” said Julie McQuade, naturalist at Pipestem State Park. McQuade and other volunteers assist former Pipestem naturalist Jim Phillips with this annual event.
The survey sites included Mouth of Indian Creek; Bertha; Pits; Bluestone State Park; Bluestone Turnpike Trail; Falls Mills, Virginia; Rt. 20 Overlook; Camp Brookside; Brooks; Barger Springs; and Rt. 122. The temperature ranged from 34-53 degrees with a 50-100 percent cloud cover and wind speed of 0-3 mph. There was no precipitation and the water was open.
Thirty-three bald eagles were recorded (11 adults, 8 first years, 9 second years, 1 third year and 4 fourth years). Golden eagles sighted were three adults and one immature. There were four unidentified eagles at nine of the 11 sites. Three nests were reported as having eggs or suspected of have an egg.
Annual eagle surveys are conducted in January and March with the announcements posted to www.pipestemresort.com, “Events.” The 2017 surveys will occur Jan. 7 and March 4, 2017.