All Trails Reopened, No Golden Eagle Eaglets this Year

May 22, 2017  -  All trails at Los Vaqueros are now open after some were closed in early March to protect golden eagles nests.

CCWD biolgists watching two remaining golden eagle nests in the watershed have determined that neither nest has produced eaglets, leading to the reopening of all trails at the watershed.

Earlier this spring, another nest in the watershed was found not to have eaglets. 

No one is sure why the nests did not produce this year - this is only the second year since CCWD has watched the nests that no eaglets have been fledged within the watershed -- though the long rainy season could have been a factor. 

Last year, four golden eagles fledged from three nests in the watershed. 

Golden eagles are commonly found 12-months a year within the nearly 20,000-acre watershed.

During the spring and early summer months, CCWD is required to close trails and other public areas near active nesting sites. 

Golden Eagle Nest Closing Facts

  • Nesting golden eagles are extremely sensitive to the presence of people. They will leave their nest if they see people nearby. (Their eyesight is much better than human eyesight!)
  • People must stay at least one-half mile from the eagles to ensure the best chances of a successful nest. CCWD closes trails near active nests.
  • Eagles who are disturbed are likely to leave the nest. This could cause eggs or chicks to die.
  • Nesting usually occurs from mid February to late June.
  • The coastal range in the greater Bay Area has the largest golden eagle population in the world. Some golden eagles live at Los Vaqueros year-round, while others just pass through the area.
Year Golden Eagles Fledged at Los Vaqueros
 2017 0
 2016  4
 2015  0
2014 3
2013 5
2012 8
2011 4
2010 5
2009 3
2008 4
2007 5

Facts About Golden Eagles

  • The golden eagle is one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America. 
  • They typically prey on mammals ranging in size from ground squirrels up to prairie-dogs, marmots, and jackrabbits.
  • Golden eagles can have a wingspan of up to seven feet and weigh more than seven pounds.  

Golden eagle at Los Vaqueros.  Photo by Jean Douglas