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Birders gather in Carson Valley to watch and photograph raptors.
Photo: Kippy S. Lanker
Even an experienced birder is thrilled at the sight of several bald eagles sitting on a fence. Fixing you with piercing eyes, the big white-headed, black birds seem to be asking, “Whatcha looking at me for?”
The eagles are the biggest draw, but they’re not the only birds you can see—and photograph—at the annual Carson Valley Eagles and Agriculture event, set for February 20, 22-24.
Ranchers and several organizations, such as the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, Audubon Society, Great Basin Birding Observatory, Carson Valley Conservation District, Carson Valley Inn, and Cooperative Extension, sponsor the program, which offers up-close bird-watching opportunities and teaches participants how ranchers benefit wildlife habitats in Nevada.
“Eagles and Ag is a celebration of the bounty of our ranch lands and the food and wildlife they provide,” says Dan Kaffer of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Ranchers allow visitors access to their fields, where eagles migrate in winter to feed on rodents and afterbirth during the calving season. Bird experts demonstrate how to identify eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls, and attendees learn about Carson Valley’s agricultural history dating back to the 1850s in workshops and on tours. The ranch tours end with a banquet lunch.
In the evening, a lecturer gives a presentation with a live falcon. Also planned are an Owl Prowl in local barns, a Carson River float trip to see eagles and other birds perched in the cottonwoods along the banks, a two-day photo workshop, and a photo contest (see schedule below).
Reservations for the event can be made through Carson Valley Visitors Authority, which also provides area lodging information.
Wednesday, Feb. 20: Morning ranch tour to observe and photograph raptors, $35.
Friday, Feb. 22: Evening cocktail reception and Birds of Prey lecture featuring live birds. No-host bar, hors d’oeuvres, $35.
Saturday, Feb. 23: Morning ranch tour, buffet lunch, $60. Afternoon and evening, Owl Prowl, $35.
Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24: Photo workshop, $60. A photography contest also will be held.
Sunday, Feb. 24: Raft and canoe trip to observe wildlife, $75.
Space is limited.