Panoramic view on the slope of a butte where we observed a bald eagle with binoculars and a telescope

Panoramic view on the slope of a butte where we observed a bald eagle with binoculars and a telescope

My name is Dominique Ong (Dom for short) and I can officially check seeing a bald eagle off my bucket list! Together with another more experienced and extremely patient intern, I helped conduct a survey to observe the presence and behavior of eagles. We hiked up a butte, or steep hill, to reach an unobstructed view of the eagle’s nest. This eagle survey is part of my work with the National Resources team at Lava Beds National Monument. The park is located in Tulelake, California, which is about 5-6 hours from Portland or San Francisco.

A bald eagle chick (left) and an adult bald eagle perched above its nest (right)

A bald eagle chick (left) and an adult bald eagle perched above its nest (right)

While at Lava Beds, I’m excited to check more and more things off my bucket list. My bucket list is constantly growing because the high desert environment is a place that is especially unfamiliar to me. I am originally from the island of Guam so immense deserts and snowy mountains are not exactly sights I’m used to seeing everyday. Even at the University of Virginia, where I study environmental science and global studies, I don’t see the unique wildlife and formations here at Lava Beds! It’s definitely an adventure out here and I can’t wait to explore my first cave and meet some bats.

Pine trees along the slope of the butte on which we observed the eagle's nest

Pine trees along the slope of the butte on which we observed the eagle’s nest

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