Brackendale / Squamish Bald Eagle Festival
Sunday, November 20 2005 @ 07:47 PM EST
Contributed by: davidh
Brackendale / Squamish Bald Eagle Festival, North of Vancouver, British Columbia
FESTIVAL MONTH: -- January every year ---
NOTE: Jan 7, 2006 Speaker on Bald Eagles will be David Hancock, Eagle Biologist
Each weekend of January will have other speakers -- see Festival schedule.
Season: Early November through February; peak mid-December to mid-January.
The Brackendale Winter Bald Eagle Festival runs the month of January with four weekends of guest speakers and volunteers with scopes to point out the birds.
Number of Birds:
Visible from one location: 50–300
Visible from a rafting trip:100–1000
Highlights: Well organized month of tours, spotters, covered viewing areas. Readily accessible 1 hour north of Vancouver BC. Four weekends in January with slide lecturers.
General Area: Brackendale is about one hour’s drive north of Vancouver BC on the Squamish Sea-to-Sky Highway just a half hour south of Whistler—British Columbia’s premier ski area. The Brackendale count area encompasses the estuary areas of the Cheakamus, Mamquam and Squamish Rivers. Through the community efforts spearheaded by Thor Froslev and Len Goldsmith, the Brackendale Eagle Reserve became a Class A Provincial Park in 1996.
Eagle Run: Guided, and partially covered.
Observation Area: month of January and February plus some weekends of December. Many conservation groups have coordinated different strategies to assist in making the eagles readily available to the pubic. The Canadian Nature Conservancy established a popular “Eagle Run” viewing area. The Eagle Watch Program and the Squamish Estuary Conservation Society keep the area serviced with guides. Several miles of good dyke hiking are prime eagle watching areas.
Official Bald Eagle Count Day: This occurs during the second week of January but is not open to the public. You can contact Thor to see about getting on this "counters wait list"! The count covers about 40 km of river tributaries and is carried out by experienced eagle watches and rafters.
Commercial Walks and Rafting Tours: Throughout January and February Thor Froslev coordinates a marvelous Eagle Walk and hot luncheon back at his Brackendale Art Gallery—a must for keen birders who also want to do it right! Thor also acts as the coordinator for the raft tour operators. On a recent visit with Thor I was surprised to learn that a "gathering of eagles" —like a pod of whales or gaggle of geese— was a “justice of eagles”—thanks Thor.
Summer Nesting: Many bald eagles nest along Howe Sound and the Squamish River system and can regularly be viewed from the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Thor Froslev, Brackendale Art Gallery
PO Box 100, Brackendale BC V0N 1H0
Ph/Fax: 604 898-3333