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It has been described as a signature event in Northern Nevada’s Carson Valley. Coming into its 8th year, the Eagles and Agriculture Event has shared the wonder of agriculture and wildlife with nearly 3,600 participants. The centerpiece of the total experience is found in the Saturday chartered bus tour and buffet lunch. This is where “ahh!” can be felt the greatest.
By 8 a.m. the luxury coaches are boarded with bundled participants ready to see bald eagles and with a little luck, the birth of a calf. The tour guides, affectionately referred to as BSers, introduce the pair of bird experts. Typically members of the Lahontan Audubon Society, the bird experts are on hand to identify avian species and discuss biology, home range and habitat requirements. They also keep a tally of the birds spotted throughout the morning.
BSers are locals versed in history, agriculture, geography, political issues and a fair bit of hear-say. The coach is abuzz with questions and fun facts to know and tell.
We are headed to the first ranch stop to meet the rancher that has worked and cared for a piece of Carson Valley land for many years. As the bus unloads, the bird experts set up spotting scopes aimed at prime targets and the rancher begins to spin his story describing the agricultural livelihood. Some say the best part of the tour is “being on the private ranches and hearing their history.” Others describe the ahh! as “meeting neighbors who make this valley important.”
After the fifth ranch is visited and the last eagle, red-tailed hawk, waterfowl, bobcat and other occasional wildlife are spotted and recorded, the bus heads back to the Carson Valley Inn where an unbelievable buffet lunch is being prepared.
En route, the BSers help the participants select the best mooer. That’s the one who can imitate a cow or bull the best. At lunch, the passengers on each bus will delegate their best to compete for the mooing contest prize and bragging rights. Bird tallies are announced, raffled prizes are won, exhibits are visited and new friends are made as lunch winds down. The ahh! of the Eagles & Agriculture experience is coming into view.
This year, the chartered bus tour and buffet lunch is on Saturday, Feb. 20, starting at the Carson Valley Inn at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $60 per person. For reservations contact the Carson Valley Arts Council at 775-782-8207 or on-line at www.visitcarson valley.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. Call or log on today!
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