ABIQUIU, N.M. (AP) — Volunteers are gathering Saturday at Abiquiu Lake in northern New Mexico for the annual midwinter bald eagle count.
The count is hosted every year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The goal is to collect data that will help with national and local tracking of eagle numbers.
Officials with the National Wildlife Federation have asked that participants in each state count eagles along standard routes to provide data trends.
Aside from getting a better gauge of the bald eagle population, the wildlife group is trying to identify previously unrecognized areas of important winter habitat.
Unlike nesting surveys, the midwinter survey provides information on both breeding and non-breeding segments of the population at a potentially limiting time of year.
The count has been a national tradition since 1984.