Don't miss the local Bald Eagles Festivals!

Summer is already long gone. I still can't believe how fast the season went. It's almost November and start of the Bald Eagle season. I am happy about it because I have truly missed seeing the amount of Bald Eagles around the lower mainland. This summer it felt particularly less birds around than usual. The numbers always deplete by the summer time as the eagles travel north for food but this year seemed different. Let's hope the returns this year in both the Harrison, Brackendale and Boundary Bay will be plentiful.

There are 2 festivals worth noting. The first is the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival that begins Nov 18th and ends on Nov 19th (but viewing is best in December and boat tours are offered after the festival all through November and December. You can read more info and where to view the eagles from land and the schedule of events HERE.

Bald Eagle expert and biologit David Hancock offers a few talks as well which you can read about HERE.

You can book boat  tours with these 2 outfitters as well HERE and HERE.

The best land based eagle viewing in the Fraser Valley are at Eagle Point, pullouts on Morris Valley Rd, Pretty Estates & Tapadera Estates and the Harrison River RV Resort and even Kilby Provincial Park.

You can watch a great video, young birder Liron Gertsman made of the spectacle at Harrison Mills

The second is the Brackendale Bald Eagle Festival. Brackendale is near Squamish and things get good a little later with the Eagles returning in mid December with best returns in January until Feb.  All info for the Brackendale Bald Eagle Festival will be found (once it's updated for 2018) HERE.

A boat tour to view the eagles is also available on the Squamish River which includes a hot meal snack, which you can book HERE.

I like this tour because it is 3 hours rather than the 1.5 hour tours on the Harrison but both are great and the returns in Squamish the last few years have been sadly (due to lack of wild salmon) less than the Harrison.

The best places for eagle viewing are along the many rivers of the Squamish Valley. The Squamish eagles can be can be spotted along the Squamish River, and between the Cheakamus and Mamquam rivers. Map to the best viewing spot HERE.

The dyke in Brackendale is a great place to view the eagles but when you do please keep eagle viewing ethics in mind, as these birds should not be disrupted as they feed.

  • Please give eagles space, approach them slowly, speak quietly and approach them on a diagonal
  • Use binoculars, spotting scopes or a zoom lense to get a closer look
  • Stay on dikes, trails and public property
  • Stay off gravel bars and private land
  • Keep your dogs on a leash

  • You can watch a video of the spectacle in Brackendale below:

    Boundary Bay in Delta, BC (particularly on 72nd St) is also a great spot for eagle viewing. More info on where to see them during the winter, can be found HERE.

    If you want to cross the border into Washington, there are great eagle opportunites in January and it's only 1.5 hours away from Vancouver, BC on the Nooksack River. You can watch a video of that spectacle below:

    The returns on the Nooksack are never as plentiful as the salmon runs in Canada. To see the most eagles in WA you would need to go to the Skagit River at Marblemount ,which is a 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver.

    The best spot to see them on the Nooksack, is the pullout just east of milepost 20 on state Route 542. Map HERE

    Boat tours also go here and you can book a tour HERE or HERE.


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