The annual bald eagle count began Saturday. Throughout San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, the U.S. Forest Service reported 9 eagles (5 adults and 4 juveniles) were observed at regional lakes.

At Lake Hemet, three people came to help the count, but no eagles were observed Saturday morning.

“Probably due [the absence] to the steady rain that was falling,” wrote the Forest Service public information officer John Miller.

Of the nine eagles seen in Southern California mountains, four eagles (three adults and one juvenile) were observed in the Big Bear and Baldwin Lake area; two juvenile eagles were seen at Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory; two eagles (one adult and one juvenile) were at Silverwood Lake; and a solitary eagle was seen at Lake Perris.

Across the region, about 80 volunteers braved the wet winter conditions to participate in the 1-hour eagle census.

Three remaining eagle counts are scheduled for this winter. They are at 8:30 a.m., on the following Saturday mornings: Jan. 14, Feb. 11 and March 10.

Lake Hemet volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for instructions. Contact Ann Poopatanapong at 909-382-2935 for more information.

In 2008 and 2009, the Lake Hemet pair fledged two chicks each year. The Forest Service does not have data for 2010 and 2011, according to San Jacinto Ranger District Wildlife Biologist Anne Poopatanapong.