The Montana Audubon Society reports that the number of golden eagles migrating along Montana’s Bridger Mountains has declined 35 to 40 percent over the last 20 years, according to an article in the Great Falls Tribune.
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, golden eagle numbers in the West are stable, the article says. But the persistent decline in numbers of golden eagles counted each year during a raptor migration watch has the state Audubon group concerned.
The raptor count started in 1992, when 1,579 golden eagles were counted. This year the number was 1,131. While the general trend has been a decline, the numbers did spike in 1999 when 1,870 golden eagles were spotted. The survey takes into account bad weather and resident birds.
Photo: Golden eagle by Donna Dewhurst, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service