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Harrison River Bald Eagle & Trumpeter Swan Counts:

Festivals and Fun

Christian Sasse and I for the past couple of years have planned on a systematic methodology of counting the eagles at the Harrison River.  My former counts for the official Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival counts were done from 6 set locations from Harrison Bay around past the Highway 7 bridge northward up Morris Valley Road to Tapadera RV Estates.  I have made these counts for many years and sometimes from the date of the Festival on through the winter and we will work to replicating this information  -- but with photographic verification and accuracy.
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Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Volunteer Training Session Nov 8, 2013

Festivals and Fun
Hancock here:  The attached notification of the upcoming Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF) is once again proud to present a "volunteer training program" offered by the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival and our former Chair Tom Cadieux is coordinating the program. 

The program is held at my favorite facility -- the Pretty Estates Resort -- the home of our Harrison Mills Bald Eagle nest cam.  This meeting, in addition to giving more people access to "how to be a volunteer" will enable you to have a pre-look at the new Bald Eagle Viewing Platform etc. 

As outlined several of us will be giving details on the area's ecological highlights.  The idea is to better arm people to answer questions if you are standing around these eagle viewing areas and get questions from the public. You do not have to commit to being a volunteer at the site and it occurred to me some of our Hancock Wildlife Foundation (HWF) followers might see this productive in answering questions about our Harrison Mills Nest Cams, the Chehalis Underwater Salmon Cam or the Chehalis Flats Tower Cams about to be reinstalled this weekend.

See you there.
David Hancock

* Note from Karen Bills (HWF):  Volunteering for the FVBEF is not to be confused with volunteering for HWF at our booth in the exhibitor's hall at Leq'a:mel during the festival.  This is completely separate and you are welcome to do both.  If you want to help man our booth please email me at


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Harrison Mills - the Place of the Eagles & Salmon

Festivals and Fun

Harrison Mills, BC has become the most famous and reliable place to see bald eagles in the entire world.  In December of 2010, 7,362 bald eagles were individually counted in a small section of this area.  Over 10,000 were estimated to be in the normal Festival count area from Harrison Bay northward along the Harrison River to the Chehalis Flats.  This incredible world record aggregation of a large predator is an annual winter event.

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Season of the Eagles Video Promo

Festivals and Fun

Some of you already know that David Hancock and I are both directors of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival held each November on the third weekend.  This year it will be Nov. 16 and 17.  Many of our Hancock Wildlife Foundation (HWF) eagle cam viewers and members come from all over to view the world's largest gathering of wintering bald eagles.  This year we are extending the viewing opportunity for a month and calling it the Season of the Eagles.  However the festival itself is only the first of the four weekends, Nov.16 and 17. 

David will be speaking both days as well as giving guided tours on the Fraser River Safari and HWF will have a booth in the exhibit hall at Laq'a:mel Hall on Lougheed Hwy. just east of Deroche, BC.  So we hope to meet many new faces this year.  Bring your binoculars and cameras of course!!

This year we are so pleased to have the opportunity to purchase public service announcements on the local media stations.  We plan to blast these promos frequently between now and then to let the public know about this amazing event that is still such a well kept secret and we want to change that.  These eagles are only 50 miles east of Vancouver but so few Vancouverites know about this gathering happening in their "backyard".

Here's the promo that will be running on our local stations:

Here's the link to the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle website for more information.  There you will also find the .pdf file that you can download and print of our 2013 program and schedule of events and a map, etc.

Here's the link to the Fraser River Safari (FRS) where you can book one of David's guided tours to see the eagles up close in the heated and covered jet boat.  You won't be cold or wet and the windows slide open for picture taking as we pull up under the trees that are loaded with eagles.  Photographer or not, you will love it.  This is definitely the best way to see the bald eagles.  The tours with David sell out quickly but we also are on the boat certain days in the following weeks of the Season of the Eagles.  So please go to the FRS website to check the availability and dates of tours with David.


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Patience is the Secret

Festivals and Fun


Congratulations to Christian Sasse, 2013’s overall winner of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Photo Contest.  Sasse’s photo will appear on the cover of the printed program and be used throughout the 2013 Festival marketing material and website. Christian is an active member of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation and we are all very proud of his accomplishment.

When asked about the circumstances when he took his photograph he said, "This photo was taken on White Rock Beach late Spring 2013 early in the morning. There are very few days where everything is just perfect - the wind blows away from the coast so that the eagle lands in the direction of the beach and the feathers are illuminated by the crisp morning sun which gives each feather exceptional illumination. The tide is low and is still falling so that fish are trapped in tidal pools. I was also lucky to image the eagle carrying a midshipman in one talon. Patience is the secret. Amazing when all these factors coincide to result in some eagle magic."

All entries were compiled into a slide show and were judged by the Festival Committee without the group knowing any of the photographer’s identities. The runner up and 2013’s coveted Festival Sticker that will be handed out at various sites and used to promote the event throughout the year is Rick Skerry. Congratulations to you also!

Both of our winners will have a short bio. on the festival website and will have their pictures put up on our Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.Thank you to all of you who submitted your amazing shots and please watch for the 2014 contest which typically opens each year in April.


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