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.

Visit Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

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. Visitors are encouraged to view the park from the Eagle Runk Dyke where you can spot eagles roosting in their natural habitat across the river.

Venture on a Squamish Eagle Float

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. 

Available Tours
Eagle Floats are available daily through Canadian Outback Rafting and Squamish Rafting Company. Your tour includes a scenic float, hearty meal and an expert guide.

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 10 and January 13 with spotting scopes for cell phone photography. 

List of Eagle Viewing Locations

Eagle Events in SquamishBald Eagle in Flight

Photo: Garry Broeckling

Celebrate the 33rd annual Brackendale Eagle Festival and Count 2019, 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 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

Brackendale Art Gallery

Canadian Outback Rafting Company


Squamish Rafting Company

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park

Where to View the Brackendale Eagles