From the Water
Fraser River Safari runs eagle expeditions along the Harrison River from November until the eagles leave the area. This is by far the best way to get up close to these incredible raptors. Enjoy the beauty in complete comfort in the climate-controlled, fully covered and heated jet boat. David Hancock also joins the crew for some extra- special adventures during this time of year. For more information visit the Fraser River Safari website
From the Land
After the first weekend of the festival, some of the sites are not set up for public viewing so it is best to come prepared with your own binoculars or viewing scopes. Please note that many areas are environmentally sensitive spots so please do your best to leave “no footprint”. There are pull-outs up Morris Valley Rd just north of Eagle Point where you can view the flats. SandpiperGolfResort has a wonderful trail that leads down to the river’s edge, which is also the very name of the restaurant on site where you may want to lunch before or after your viewing time. At the end of the trail, you will find the brand new observation deck. If there are large numbers of eagles they tend to spread out down the river, which means that the park and dike just below Kilby Historic Site are also excellent places to explore for roosting eagles. Happy viewing!
For more information on where and how to see the eagles from the land please visit the Preserve page.
Perhaps this is the perfect spot to give a brief overview of the seasonal habits of the bald eagle. (source “The Bald Eagle of Alaska, BC, and Washington” by David Hancock) Primetime for eagle viewing in the Valley can be from late October until mid-January depending on the salmon runs.
September – January the eagles will attempt to set up their territories. This sometimes is complicated by the hundreds even thousands of wintering eagles occupying the area.
Early February – March – The two to three eggs are laid.
April will see the hatching of the eggs after a approx 36 day incubation period
April – July the eaglets grow and then fledge at approx 12 weeks of age.
July- August – the mature birds leave the area and begin to head north in search of the first salmon runs. The fledglings will not be far behind as they will become very hungry without parents around to feed and care for them
Late September and early October the adults begin to return to once again stake out their nests and begin any necessary repairs.
November – January eagles into the thousands will begin descend upon the Fraser Valley to enjoy the smorgasbord of spawned out salmon along the Harrison and Fraser Rivers. This will consist of eagles from all over BC and include first year birds to mature adults.