There aren't that many, but there are a few up there.
A handful of golden eagles do nest and hunt on Mount Diablo.
They are hard to spot. You have to know where to look, when to look and how to look. And you need to get a little lucky.
I ran into some good fortune in summer 1991. My brother-in-law and I were hiking on one of the trails off Morgan Territory Road when we heard a powerful "whoosh" coming from a tree near us. Gary and I looked up and saw a powerful golden eagle taking flight not more than 50 feet from us.
I wanted to see if I could repeat my experience this past weekend, so on Sunday morning my niece's husband, Brian Fairhurst, their 2-year-old son, Jack, and I ventured into Mitchell Canyon near Clayton.
Brian is an avid bird watcher and I learned a lot from him on this morning. I first learned how to train my eye to spot raptors soaring high in the sky. It's amazing how you can miss these birds if you're not concentrating.
I also learned raptors like wide open swaths of land. It's easier to spot prey and swoop down on them.
Raptors also like areas with some wind action know as thermals so they can glide without much effort.
In other words, Mount Diablo is a great place for these hunters.
On Sunday, we saw plenty of turkey vultures, a number of hawks and a few falcons. Alas, we saw no eagles.
But we will try again soon. And this time, I'll have a little more information at our disposal.
I called the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society and talked to the group's president, Jimm Edgar.
He told me there have only been a handful of confirmed eagle's nests on Mount Diablo in recent years. One used to be near Danville. He said these birds are quite territorial and will drive out any other eagles within a square mile of their home.
He confirmed Mount Diablo's terrain, winds and ample food supply makes it ideal for birds of prey.
"It's an excellent place for them," he said.
I also talked to the Audubon Society's Maury Stern, who goes out on the organization's bird counts.
He also said there might be only one or two eagle nests right now on Mount Diablo.
He said Mitchell Canyon, the Danville area and Morgan Territory are all good places to try to spot one of these large birds.
"The winds are so good in those places, raptors don't have to work. They just stick our their wings and soar," said Stern.
He also gave me a lead on a possible eagle's nest in the Walnut Creek area. So, I'm going to check it out and then Brian, Jack and I can head out again.