Explore Squamish - December 11, 2018

Your Guide to Soar into Eagle Season in Squamish

Your Guide to Soar into Eagle Season in Squamish

On January 9, 1994, a world record of 3,769 bald eagles were counted at the annual Brackendale Winter Eagle Count. Since then an average of 1300 eagles are counted in Squamish year after year. Read on for a list of seasonal viewing happenings.

Tips to Spot Eagles

Photos: Julie Zoney, Ian Robertson, @onecutmedia_rm
  • Look up: Eagles spend most of their time roosting in tall trees. You can also see a group of eagles kettling: wheeling and circling in the thermal currents. 
  • Best times of the day: 
    • Early morning when eagles are searching for food after a long, cold night
    • Mid-afternoon (between 2:30 and 3:30) when eagles leave their feeding areas for their roosting spots for the night
  • Visit Eagle Run Dyke on weekends: EagleWatch volunteers are onsite from 10 am - 3 pm between November 9 and mid-January with spotting scopes for viewing and cell phone photography.

List of Eagle Viewing Locations

Inside information: After the world record eagle count, Thor Froslev of the Brackendale Art Gallery and friend Len Goldsmith conceived the idea of establishing an eagle reserve in Brackendale. In October 1996, the 755 hectare Brackendale Eagle Reserve, now a Provincial Park, was approved as a protected area. 

Eagle Events in SquamishBald Eagle in Flight

Photo: Garry Broeckling

Celebrate the 34th annual Brackendale Eagle Festival, a month-long festival featuring a special line-up of concerts, lecture series, art shows, group tours, and the annual Bald Eagle Count held on the first Sunday in January.

Eagle Viewing Tours

Eagle Float Tours

Photo: Squamish Rafting

Eagle floats are an absolute must-do during eagle season. Local rivers are calm throughout the winter so you can sit at ease, camera in hand as your guide rows downriver. Keep your eyes wide for Squamish views like the Stawamus Chief and Mount Garibaldi seen from an entirely new perspective. Along the way, learn the local lore and plenty of information about the eagle's population. At the end of the tour enjoy a warm hearty meal. 

Operators: Canadian Outback Rafting and Squamish Rafting Company

Eagle Bike Tours

Many of the eagles favourite roosting locations are high in the trees alongside some of Squamish's most picturesque trails. Pedal around town and follow your knowledgable guide as they lead you to the best eagle viewing sweet spots on a relaxed bike tour that will teach you all about Squamish and their connection to Squamish. 

Operators: Blazing Saddles Adventures (e-bikes only) and Ride BC (e-bikes and mountain bikes)

Eagle Horse Tours

View the Squamish eagles from the saddle of a horse as you enjoy a riverside trail ride in one of Squamish's densest eagle habitation areas. The 1-hour tour includes plenty of breaks where you can learn about eagles and snap some photos to remember your day. 

Operators: Cheekye Ranch

Eagle Viewing Ethics

  • Keep your distance: Do not approach an eagle you see feeding on the shore. An eagle who is forced to leave its food may not return to it, and it needs to conserve energy to survive the winter
  • Do not use drones: Use binoculars or telephoto lenses to get a closer look. 
  • Stay on the dykes: Please do not walk on the gravel bars or private land
  • Keep dogs on a leash: Do not let dogs chase wildlife

 

Related News, Blogs, Events & Experiences

Blazing Saddles Adventures

Brackendale Art Gallery

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

Canadian Outback Rafting Company

Cheekye Ranch

EagleWatch

Ride BC - Local Mountain Bike Guides

Squamish Rafting Company

Where to View the Brackendale Eagles