Eagle-lovers from near and far are once again encouraged to visit the Eagle Run viewing shelter this season! A visit to the shelter allows safe, accessible and ethical viewing opportunities of the overwintering population of bald eagles that inhabit this area along the Squamish River. The shelter is outfitted with a bounty of educational information, providing visitors with an in-depth perspective on bald eagles, and answering questions like why bald eagles love the Squamish Valley and where they have come from. Viewing the eagles is best in the morning, from November until early January. Use binoculars or a camera to get a closer look and remember to stay on the dike. Please give eagles perching in trees near the shelter and eagles feeding along the river their space! They need to conserve energy to survive the winter.
The Squamish Environment Society’s EagleWatch program will be active on the dike for the entire viewing season, with a new focus on monitoring eagles. EagleWatch is a citizen science initiative that involves dedicated volunteers conducting twice-daily eagle counts along the dike to contribute to our long-term data collection. Numbers that have been collected every year since 1995 provide us with insight on the population of overwintering bald eagles in the area. This data can be cross-referenced with other records including weather, water temperature, water levels and salmon returns to possibly help flag changes in the ecosystem.
We look forward to your joining or visiting our eagle-loving community! Check in regularly to our website, Facebook or Instagram pages to see the number of eagles counted along the dike daily or grab your binoculars and head out to the dike to count a few eagles for yourself!
Photo courtesy of Sean St. Denis: adult eagle cruising low above a sand bar at Eagle Run, October 2019.