60 volunteers ranging in age from 10 to 82 counted 962 eagles during the 32nd Annual Winter Bald Eagle Count today, January 7. The volunteers covered 20 separate areas by foot, snowshoe, ski and raft, from the Elaho to downtown Squamish, and from Paradise Valley to the Stawamus River.
While the count was down from the 32-year average of 1433 eagles and well below 1994’s record count of 3769, it was a very respectable count considering the difficult conditions with the snow and fog. This year we also had a very poor Chum salmon return and high water in the fall. The result is an improvement from the 698 eagles counted last year and the lowest-ever count of 411 in 2016. This count is one of a patchwork of counts conducted in the Pacific Northwest each winter, to help document the size and distribution of the Bald Eagle population.
The Squamish Environment Society would very much like to thank all the volunteers, the Squamish Rafting Company, Brackendale Art Gallery and the Brackendale Farmer’s Institute for their continuing support.
Photo courtesy of Sara King: a Squamish Rafting Company raft, hauled up during the count of the Pilchuk to Cheakamus area.