Over 35,000 bald eagles will soon migrate to this BC valley
Friday, November 16, 2018, 2:01 PM - The stunning landscape of Fraser Valley, British Colombia is expecting an influx of approximately 35,000 feathered residents that are planning to stay during the winter months.
Weather Network reporter, Mia Gordon, spoke with biologist David Hancock about the winter migration, who said that this area hosts the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world.
Nearly every bald eagle that nests in California, Oregon, and Washington will pass through the Fraser Valley on their northward migration to feed on rivers that are rich in numerous types of salmon.
Mating season occurs during this annual winter migration, which mainly takes place in the areas that surround the Harrison River, north of Chiliwack.
A banded adult bald eagle in Sacramento, California. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Bird watchers of all levels can enjoy the spectacular sight as hundreds of eagles are easily seen flying around, eating, and preparing nests. After spending just 25 minutes near the Harrison River in Harrison Mills, Gordon was able to a shocking count of 640 bald eagles, which was considered to be on the low side for this time of the year.
Hancock explains that this location is so desirable for the bald eagles because the Harrison Mills is the most productive salmon river in all of Canada.
The bald eagles enjoy feasting on the dead salmon carcasses, which begin to accumulate on river shores by the end of October, and the current migration patterns suggest that total levels could reach record-breaking amounts this year.
This year marks the 23rd annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, which is being held on November 17 and 18. If you aren't able to make it out to B.C. in time for the festival, The Hancock Wildlife Foundation provides live cameras for four different popular bald eagle locations, which can be watched comfortably from home - no binoculars necessary.