BLM Winter Bucket List #14: Cache Creek Natural Area, California, for Eagle Hikes
On Saturdays in January through mid-February, you can join the BLM California and other outdoors enthusiasts for guided eagle hikes in the Cache Creek Natural Area. Spend four or five hours hiking across the secluded, hilly expanse of oak woodlands and grasslands - a combination of over 70,000 acres of BLM managed lands and 4,700 acres of state and county lands.
Eagles often soar over the Cache Creek or perch in streamside trees, and visitors often spot other wildlife, including tule elk, golden eagles, osprey, herons, red-tailed hawks and egrets.
The Cache Creek Natural Area is managed to improve habitat for wildlife and rare plants, to protect cultural resource values, and to offer primitive recreation opportunities, including wildlife viewing, river running, hiking, equestrian use and fishing. In 2006, approximately 27,245 acres within the Cache Creek Natural Area were designated as the Cache Creek Wilderness Area.
BLM Winter Bucket List #6: Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for the Annual Eagle Count
In many parts of the country, it’s rare to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle, but imagine seeing scores of them in a single day. When winter weather arrives in Canada, large numbers of eagles decide it’s time to move along, and one of their favorite stops is Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
So what’s the attraction for these stunning birds? A plentiful supply of spawned-out kokanee salmon in the lake.
From November to February each year, the BLM records the eagle migration - a record 240 eagles were spotted in just one day in 2013. The spectacle becomes a regional attraction – with activities, tours and boat rides on the lake.
You can join the activities during Eagle Week this year - December 27-31 - or plan a quiet visit. Learn more: http://on.fb.me/1BcctSj
The bald eagle population, once so decimated by the pesticide DDT that only a single pair nested in New Jersey, is on the rebound. The statewide population now numbers 156 pairs, thanks to the efforts of the federal government and several generations of conservationists.
And last year, for the first time in about a century, a pair of eagles nesting on the Palisades successfully produced offspring. Across New Jersey, 115 of the pairs — about 74 percent of the total — successfully bred, producing 201 young.
“It’s incredible. It’s something I never thought in my wildest dreams that I’d see,” said Don Torino, president of the Bergen County Audubon Society. “It’s a story of people 40 years ago getting together, passing the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, banning DDT, and hoping something like this would happen. I think it ended up better than they even thought.”
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An adult eagle and a juveniele eagle fight over a fish. Photograph by Jerry am Ende