Since 2001 the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce has orchestrated one of the Valley’s signature events: Eagles and Agriculture. This annual weekend showcases raptors and wildlife, the wide open spaces the ranching community affords us, and the cutest little calves you have ever seen.
From the Opening Reception and beyond, each year proves better than the year before. To name a few event highlights:
- Photography Exhibit on Thursday evening,
- Behind-the-scenes tours and Falconers Dinner on Friday
- Ranch & Eagle Tour Saturday
- Specialty tours and the Owl Prowl on Saturday
- Photo Workshops on Saturday and Sunday
- Specialty tour and guided hike on Sunday
One thing locals know is that the eagle’s vacation here for more than one weekend in January. Dwayne Hicks of Carson Valley Tours and JT Humphrey, both wildlife experts and tour operators, photograph eagles in the valley from November-March most years.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why eagles vacation in Carson Valley every year. The answer is simple: because herds of cows give birth during the winter, and the eagles and other critters dine on the afterbirth. It is a delicacy, giving them the strength they need to migrate back to Canada and Alaska.
There are three ways you can view these majestic creatures.
- Join the Eagles and Ag tours and events. This event is put on by the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, so check with them for all the details.
- Contact one of our local wildlife tour operators for a jeep tour. They are also professional photographers, so bring along your camera to get some tips for capturing the perfect shot.
- Go for a drive around the valley and find them yourself. You won’t even need any special equipment. Ranchers move their cow herds to pastures close to the roads throughout the valley so you are able to park along the roadside for a closer look. If you see cars parked and people pointing, you can bet there are some eagles.
And to enhance your experience, follow these guidelines.
Pro tip #1: birds and wildlife startle easy so you may want to park farther along the road and quietly walk back for a better view.
Pro tip #2: don’t trespass on private property. It can be dangerous to get too close to animals no matter how docile they seem. And ranchers appreciate you staying outside their fenced pastures.
Pro tip #3: locals and guests all appreciate the wildlife, so please don’t disturb them. When animals are disturbed they move out of the area making it harder for everyone to enjoy them.