Bald Eagles Return to Vancouver

Photo credit: jscott7357 | Flickr

It’s that time of year again.  Thousands of bald eagles have returned to the regions surrounding Vancouver as part of their annual migration south.  For wildlife lovers, it’s a rare chance to see the iconic birds in the wild – flying, feeding on salmon and roosting in trees.

Several local sites have earned reputations for fabulous eagle watching.  Grab your camera and binoculars and check out these eagle hot spots.  Just remember to always maintain a respectable distance and never disturb the birds.  

  • Located about two hours from Vancouver, the communities along the Harrison River are hosting the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Nov. 17-Nov. 18.  A late run of chum salmon has attracted a “record number” of eagles to the area, according to the Vancouver Sun.  The highest concentration gathers where the Chehalis River flows into the the Harrison River (Last year, more than 10,000 eagles were spotted in the vicinity). The two-day festival includes educational walks and talks and even riverboat eagle safaris.

Photo credit: Marcio Cabral de Moura | Flickr

  • Just an hour north of Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway, the town of Brackendale calls itself the world’s bald eagle capital.  Viewing peaks from mid-December to mid-January, when thousands of the majestic birds gather to feed from the rivers that converge in the community.  Each January, Brackendale also hosts a month-long Winter Eagle Festival.  Some of the best viewing is on Eagle Run, a scenic walkway along the municipal dyke that looks into the protected Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park.
  • Closer to Vancouver, Boundary Bay Regional Park in Delta (as well as the nearby   Vancouver Landfill) also sees hundreds of bald eagles every year.  Last year, roughly 800 eagles were spotted feeding in those two locations.  About an hour from downtown Vancouver, Boundary Bay makes a great day trip, with 23.5 kilometres of walking trails along the shoreline.

Know any other eagle hot spots?  Let us know below.  

Want more updates on Vancouver and beyond?  Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza

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