Pretty Estates Bald Eagle Observatory getting ready!
Saturday, November 09 2013 @ 07:24 PM EST
Contributed by: davidh
Hancock here: Wow -- the Pretty Estates Bald Eagle Observatory is nearing completion.
This site will offer the public the greatest opportunity to view Bald Eagles anywhere in the world. The attached composite of Christian Sasse will be part of a regular count that we perform throughout the season to help us determine the seasonality of the eagles.
This year we had expected the eagles to be later in arriving since many of the northern rivers had reasonable runs of salmon to feed the eagles and hold them in the north. The final act to push them southward to our offerings would be the freezing over of the rivers and shutting off of the salmon carcasses. While the north had not yet frozen over, apparently the eagles' success at the Chehalis - Harrison River the past years has already convinced many to come south early.
As you can see in the following linked image of the central flats -- 982 observed eagles are already here yesterday morning at 7.14am. http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/144329.
Also note when you are at the Pretty Estates parking lot you are almost below our Harrison Mills Bald Eagle nest with the cams, and just up the road is the Chehalis Fish Hatchery where we have the underwater salmon cam and, of course, at the river's edge at the Pretty Estates is their Bald Eagle Observatory looking out at our cams on the Chehalis Flats. We hope to collectively help tell the story of this incredible river.
This is my invitation to come to the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, November 16 & 17, when we will have all sorts of events, displays and talks -- and scopes set up so you can see these eagles. For details of the schedules see: www.fvbef.ca If you want to book a river tour check out http://fraserriversafari.com/ On most weekends though the end of the year I will be on board some of the tours to talk about these eagles.
My personal guarantee is that there will be 1,000 + eagles at Harrison Mills for the Festival weekend. The keys to seeing that many are to come early as the dominant birds feed at on the bars at daylight and dusk. When the eagles are disturbed by fisherman or people not respecting the Chehalis Flats Bald Eagle & Salmon Preserve "etiquette" of not walking on the Flats the eagles retreat to the trees along the hillsides and most are readily seen from the eagle observatories or the deep water channels where the tour boats travel. The eagles don't mind people or boats below them -- they just don't want to be approached as they sit feeding and relaxing on the gravel bars.
If you come out and see us, please say hi and identify yourself as a HWF Cam watcher.