Bald eagles were among the species spotted during the 2017 Swan and Eagle Count Jan. 15 in greater Vernon.

Swan and eagle count numbers soar

For the first time in many years, the 2017 Swan & Eagle Count numbers are up

For the first time in many years, the 2017 Swan & Eagle Count numbers are up.

The count, which took place Jan. 15 in the greater Vernon area recorded one tundra swan, eight golden eagles, 159 trumpeters (143 adults and 16 immature), and 184 bald eagles (139 adults and 45 immature).

“We had 31 participants on seven routes tally a total of 160 swans and 192 eagles during this year’s Swan & Eagle Count,” said Aaron Deans, Swan & Eagle Count coordinator for the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club.

“All four focal species were seen, which was a first in many years. Also unusual was observing as many golden eagles, with three routes tallying one or more individuals each. A total of eight were seen, which is more than recorded during any other year over the past decade.”

In addition to the eight adult golden eagles, 184 bald eagles were tallied with observations made on all routes.

Despite the lack of open water, around much of all the larger lake margins and along the Shuswap River, a number of swans turned up. The bulk of them were spotted in two locations along the Shuswap near the south end of Mabel Lake and on the river south of Rosemond and Mara lakes.

“Join us again next year when we convene on Jan. 14, 2018, to count swans and eagles,” said Deans. “Until then, happy birding and enjoy yourself enjoying nature.”

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