Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region
2145 Key Wallace Dr
Cambridge, MD 21613
(410) 228-2677

Blackwater NWR Annual Mid-Winter Eagle Survey

Blackwater NWR Visitor CenterJoin Refuge staff and volunteers for this annual survey of eagles on the Refuge! The eagle count is conducted in two parts. The non-roost count, or morning count, takes place from 10:00-10:30 a.m., while the roost count, or evening count, takes place from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Both counts are conducted from stationary observation sites scattered across the Refuge. Last year, the non-roost count produced 142 eagles, while the roost count produced 131 eagles. This year's eagle count is scheduled for Wednesday, January 8, 2014, with a rain date of Thursday, January 9. On the day of the survey, participants will meet at the Blackwater NWR main Visitor Center on Key Wallace Drive, in the multipurpose room.

If you or anyone you know is interested in participating in either of these surveys, please contact Amanda Bessler by email at or by phone at (410) 228-2692 x114 to sign up for the non-roost count, roost count, or both. If you are interested in a particular observation site or wish to be partnered with a particular person, please provide this information. Please include your phone number in your e-mail or phone message so that we can call you in the case of a cancellation. If the weather looks questionable early on January 8, please call Amanda Bessler's cell phone at 812-212-3653 to verify any potential postponements before you begin your commute. If you have them, please bring binoculars, field guides, spotting scope, clipboards, and warm clothes. Trends indicate a steady eagle population at Blackwater NWR.

Non-roost Count

8:00 a.m. - Coffee and socializing in multipurpose room
8:15 a.m. - Review of eagle identification
8:30 a.m. - Organize survey parties
9:00 a.m. - Depart for count stations
10:00-10:30 a.m. - Non-roost count period
10:30-11:30 a.m. - Return data sheets to multipurpose room

Roost Count

3:00 p.m. - Meet in multipurpose room of Visitor Center
3:15 p.m. - Depart for count stations
4:00-5:30 p.m. - Roost count period
5:30-6:30 p.m. - Return data sheets to multipurpose room

If you need directions to the Refuge, visit our Directions page.


Last updated: December 19, 2013