Barr Lake is bird-watching heaven right now.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are reporting some majestic news from Barr Lake near Brighton.
During a quick 5-minute count over the weekend, raptor monitors with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies counted 116 eagles. Just over 50 were adult eagles and the rest were juveniles.
"Barr Lake State Park has more visiting Bald Eagles than ever before, with more than 100 counted over the weekend. It's an amazing spectacle and if you live nearby, well worth a visit!" says the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Facebook page.
Barr Lake just had its Bald Eagle Festival on February 1, but that doesn't mean you can't visit the park and set up your own eagle watch. They are most likely to be soon at sunset and sunrise, and be sure to bring binoculars, as eagles will definitely head out if you get too close. They perch during cold days, so you may have a better chance of seeing them in the trees on chilly days.
The American Bald Eagle was once near extinction due to hunting, pollution, and habitat loss. In 1976, the species was listed as endangered, and thanks to efforts, bald eagles were downlisted to threatened in 1995.
Thanks to the state's relatively mild winters and trout-stocked waters, Colorado is a favorite place for migrating eagles to stop and gather strength for the rest of their flight. In addition, there are 200 nests in the state, so we have several resident breeding pairs, as well.
From October to March, migrating and resident eagles alike can be found near large waterways.
"It is not unusual to find pockets of 10 to 100+ birds roosting near rivers, lakes, and reservoirs," says ColoradoBirdingTrail.com.
If you are interested in joining events for eagle viewing, there are several around the state that you should check out. You can find out more about the eagle migration and events here.