The record for Bald Eagles (BAEA) sighted at the Mid Winter Bald Eagle Survey 
was smashed on Friday, January 8.. Twenty-nine surveyors covered 14 assigned 
routes to sight 77 BAEA,  a new survey record for the Greater Montezuma 
Wetlands. Last year 43 BAEA were reported at Montezuma in this annual 
nationwide survey. The detail results by route will be reported to the U. S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, who coordinate this annual national survey.

The day was perfect for surveying, and it was quite beautiful as well with lots 
of sunshine, light breezes, excellent visibility, and good travel conditions. 
Unlike the Winter Raptor Surveys, where surveyors are assigned a fixed survey 
spot, surveyors for the BAEA survey  are assigned a route to travel, either in 
vehicles, or on foot. The total survey area covered is larger than for the 
raptor surveys, running from the north end of Cayuga Lake to the Lake Ontario 

The #1 hot  site today was Tschache Pool, which had been drained recently, 
where 40 BAEA were counted, most collected in trees at the north end. An 
amazing spectacle. The Main Pool area was the #2 spot, with 14 BAEA. Although 
we were not counting them, a number of Rough-legged Hawks (RLHA) were also 
reported, a good sign that we may see more of them in our forthcoming raptor 
surveys. The sizable Sandhill Crane (SACR) “gang” that has been hanging around, 
was also spotted, indicating they must be enjoying our mild winter.

This annual daytime event is always a lot of fun, providing an opportunity for 
participants to socialize and watch the scoreboard to see how the count comes 
in. Of course there is food, a potluck provided by the volunteers. My gratitude 
to everyone who provided the food, and to all who helped with the survey. Your 
time is precious, and it is appreciated. 

David Marsh

P. S. There was also an article in the Saturday Auburn newspaper, The Citizen, 
about the event.


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