[Submitted news release.]
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — The Carson Valley agricultural and ranching community, along with the Carson Valley Visitors Authority, the Audubon Society, the Great Basin Birding Observatory and the conservation community have announced that the unique birds of prey viewing and agricultural education experience, the 7th Annual Eagles and Agriculture Event, will take place February 27 – March 1, 2009.
The ‘Eagles and Ag’ tours and workshops focus on the influx of bald eagles and other birds of prey that come to the scenic Carson Valley to feed on the rodents and nutrient-rich afterbirth during the winter calving season. This remarkable interaction between nature and agriculture attracts photographers, birders and nature-lovers of all kinds who come to closely observe bald and golden eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and a variety of other bird and wildlife species. A complete schedule of events and information can be viewed at www.visitcarsonvalley.org.
Friday evening, February 27, there will be a Birds of Prey Lecture and Reception featuring keynote speaker Dr. Jeff Smith, Hawkwatch International. Additionally, Doug Busselman, the Executive Vice President of the Nevada Farm Bureau will discuss Nevada Agriculture, Falconer Lew Souder will present a live Northern Goshawk; and Falconer Mark Moglich will display a live ornate Hawk Eagle. The $35 per person entry fee includes hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. A special price of $30 is extended to those participants that are also attending the Saturday Ranch Tour.
Saturday morning, February 28, luxury motor coaches depart for a private group tour of area ranches to observe the birds of prey feeding in the fields with calves and cattle. Attendees will learn about Carson Valley ranching and conservation, plus have an opportunity to observe/photograph birds of prey from vantage points not available to the general public. The tour is being offered for just $60 per person and includes luxury motor coach transportation along with expert guides on Carson Valley history and wildlife. Following the tour, a sumptuous buffet lunch will be served with a group discussion on sightings.
On Saturday afternoon participants are invited on the popular Owl Prowl Tour and Live Falconing Field Demonstration. Led by a local naturalist, the Owl Prowl goes to historic area barns to view owl habitat. Watch Falconer Lew Souder fly his Northern Goshawk! The tour is limited to only 45 participants, weather permitting. The cost is $35 per person.
A two-day photography workshop will be offered on Saturday and Sunday with instruction and discussion on Saturday and a nature photo shoot on location at an area ranch on Sunday. The cost is $60 per two-day workshop and is limited to 30 participants.
Another unique way to observe the eagles, hawks and falcons occurs on Sunday, March 1, when a guided Raft/Kayak Trip is offered. Participants will paddle down the beautiful Carson River and enjoy scenery and wildlife. This is a great event for photography buffs! The cost is $75.
In conjunction with the ‘Eagles and Ag’ event, there is a photography contest: $125 will be awarded for the best birding photo and $125 for the best agricultural/wildlife photo taken in Carson Valley. To qualify, photos of 5 x 7 or larger along with a CD must be submitted by March 16 to the Carson Valley Visitors Authority. A photo release must be signed for eligibility.
Over 3,000 people have attended previous year’s events and have given rave reviews. Participants are encouraged to sign up soon as space is limited for all Eagles and Agriculture events. The tours and workshops demonstrate how agricultural stewardship benefits wildlife and their habitat in Nevada. All proceeds benefit local wildlife, conservation and agriculture projects. All tours and events are staged at or hosted by the Carson Valley Inn on US Hwy 395 in Minden, Nevada.
To register for ‘Eagles and Ag’, contact the Douglas County Parks & Recreation Department at 775-782-9835 or go to www.visitcarsonvalley.org to download the registration form. For additional lodging and visitor information call the Carson Valley Visitors Authority at 775-782-8144 or toll-free at 800-727-7677.