Your Eagle Eyes are Needed to Help with the 2021 Winter Bald Eagle Survey

Survey runs from January 6-20

We need your eagle eyes for the 2021 National Midwinter Bald Eagle survey! If you are out and about and see an eagle in Vermont during the survey period (January 6 - 20), please report your sighting.

We would appreciate the following information about your sighting:

  • date
  • location
  • time of day
  • number of Bald or Golden Eagles seen
  • approximate age of the eagles (i.e., adult Bald Eagle with white head and tail, or immature that is mostly brown)
  • any notable behavior (i.e., carrying nesting material, flying with another eagle, etc.)

There are two options for reporting your sightings this year:

  1. Use Audubon’s online submission form here
  2. Submit your sighting to eBird. Make sure you share your report with “BAEA_WinterSurvey.”  If you do not have an eBird account yet, but would like to start, you can find easy-to-follow instructions here.

There will also be small groups of Audubon Vermont volunteers venturing out in the cold this January to count wintering Bald Eagles throughout the state (all following State COVID-19 guidelines).  This survey is part of the national Midwinter Bald Eagle Survey, which is coordinated by the US Army Corps of Engineers. 

Since 1979, volunteers have been counting wintering Bald Eagles in early January on non-overlapping standard routes in 43 states, most of which have seen steadily increasing populations since the count began. Vermont has 15 standard survey routes, and also covers several additional Bald Eagle "hotspots" throughout the state. 

Last year's count tallied a record total of 68 Bald Eagles on the standard routes, and volunteers and members of the public counted an additional 56 Bald Eagles in other parts of Vermont.  The numbers of eagles counted each year varies due to several factors, including survey conditions and the amount of ice on the waterbodies. More ice usually means the eagles are concentrated in areas of open water so they can hunt fish and waterfowl. Overall, the trend in Vermont has been positive, with an 8.1% increase in eagles from 1989-2010.

Thank you for your help with this survey of one of Vermont's iconic species. Please follow all State guidelines for being outside safely, including:

  1. Please stay home if you are not feeling well.
  2. Anyone who lives outside of Vermont should not cross state lines to look for Bald Eagles.
  3. Where possible, please go birding alone or with someone in your household.  If this is not possible, groups should be no larger than two people, and individuals should wear masks and stay at least 6 feet apart when outside together.
  4. Avoid any close contact such as carpooling with someone outside your household, sharing a spotting scope or binoculars, etc.

For more information on Bald Eagle recovery in Vermont, visit:

How you can help, right now