CTV news story re 4000 bald eagles at Chehalis today

Hancock here:

The eagles did it again.  About 4000 eagles appeared at the Chehalis - Harrison confluence today  -- what an incredibly beautiful day and abundance of eagles.

The numbers were slightly down from last weekend when we estimated about 5500 eagles seen from the tour boat.  Today the clear weather, slight breeze and the abundance of dead salmon probably encouraged the eagles to soar early. 

The eagles start to feed at daybreak and  by 10 a.m. start to soar, but still about 1500 were on the beaches and another 2000 in the surrounding trees along the Harrison and probably 500 were seen constantly soaring over the hills -- and our boat.  Another 2000 to probably 3000 would have already taken to soaring and drifting to neighboring areas.

Well do I remember being on the Chehalis Flat at 10 a.m. one early, similar, December morning about 3 years ago and witnessing the early morning departure.  By 9:30 a.m. thousands of eagles were already flying to gain access to the rising air over the neighboring hills.  These columns of eagles went upward 500, 1000, 2000 ft. and many soaring upward of 5000 feet.  One of the three columns of eagles drifted south to the US border and probably the Skagit River, one drifted more westward towards Vancouver and the third column drifted higher and northwest --- probably heading to Brackendale for lunch. By 10AM most of the eagles had dispersed to all points of the compass.

Today the pattern was less organized.  By 12:00 noon the soaring eagles were dispersed and soaring over all the surrounding hills but fortunately for us 2500 were evident on the gravel bars, sitting in the surrounding trees and flying over our boat -- the Fraser River Safari Tour boat.  What an incredible biological event.  Today's guests included the CTV film crew that film our adventures -- and they gave a fine biological account on the 6PM news. Thanks Brent.  The story should be on the local CTV news at 11:30 this evening also.

For those wanting to take in the last tour this year -- scheduled for next Saturday, Dec. 11  -- contact Jo-Anne and Rob Chadwick at Fraser River Safari tours  at  604-826-7361 or 1-866-348-6877.  This is the world's densest concentration of eagles ever amassed -- you don't want to miss one of the world's greatest natural events.

Since one of the world's finest nature photographers was also aboard, Glen Browning, I suspect when he has a chance to edit the thousands of shots he took today, some will appear on our site -- probably in the Media Gallery under his name.

See you Saturday.

David Hancock

If you missed the CTV newscast here's the link to watch it online as reported by reporter Brent Shearer.



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