Chehalis Camera Tower Camera Now Online

Chehalis River + Eagle Point

After several false starts, one of the 3 cameras on the Chehalis Estuary Camera Tower is now online for all to view and enjoy. Shortly after the cameras were installed a fuse blew and they went offline. Due to bad weather, getting to the platform and replacing the fuse took over 2 weeks - and then a loose connection caused a further delay until a second visit to the tower could be done this past week.

The good thing is that the high water caused by the storms and the mild weather at other estuaries meant that there really were not all that many eagles around. Now, with the coming of cold, crisp weather the rain when it falls will fall as snow, the water level is dropping (has dropped by over a meter since our visit last week) and the eagles are starting to show up in numbers.

Sunrise over Chehalis River Estuary - Hancock Wildlife Foundation www.hancockwildlife.orgSunrise this morning (December 5, 2009) shows many of the sand bars starting to show again after something aproaching a meter of rain over the past several weeks. Juvenile Bald Eagle - Chehalis River Estuary - www.hancockwildlife.orgThe juvenile eagles are here, fresh from fledging in the past months, and ready for some of their first major meals. They've been farther up the BC coast at other estuaries but now are heading for the Chehalis as it will remain largely ice-free for the rest of the Winter and gets large runs of all 5 major species of salmon over the coming months. You can see the salmon coming up to the spawning grounds in our underwater camera just outside the Chehalis fish hatchery, about 3 km from the estuary up-river.

We'll be bringing the other 2 cameras online shortly. In the mean time join us and the tens of thousands of people around the world in watching as the most concentrated gathering of predatory birds continues to gather here at the Chehalis Estuary.

You'll enjoy hearing David Hancock and his project coordinator, Karen Bills,  talk about this area, the recent Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, and this estuary and the Fraser Valley.

"Last year on December 1... at Eagle Point observatory... I counted, one or two at a time, 2500 eagles in this area" said David Hancock.

Within the view of our cameras (aimed in real time by our volunteers) you'll see vistas of eagles, swans, and other birds that come to this area to gorge on the fish carcasses.

The eagles in this estuary are the same ones that feed at Brackendale near Squamish - about 70 miles away as the eagle flies, over the mountains to the North West. They also travel down to the Skagit river in Washington state and over at the Boundary bay and on Vancouver Island.

The pictures on this page are taken directly from the "50" camera on the Chehalis tower this morning

Note: The originals are available in our Media Gallery in this special album  along with several hundred others taken this morning - and may be used by news media/blogs to illustrate articles about this site and camera launch. All other use is governed by the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-alike license.

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