The inside view of EagleWatch 2020 – 2021

Hello EagleWatch volunteers and everyone who is interested in our wintering eagles!

January 6 marked the conclusion of our 2020-2021 EagleWatch season. This season began in its modified form on November 7, and that made for two whole months of EagleWatching at Eagle Run dike! Due to the pandemic, we altered our usual schedule of weekend half-day shifts to two counts daily. With the suspension of the educational portion of the EagleWatch program, this modified schedule offered the opportunity for our dedicated group of volunteers to sign up for multiple shifts and to head out to the dike on their own to monitor safely. We organized ourselves through Sling and email scheduling, and managed to overcome most obstacles that Sling presented.

Collectively, we were out on the dike every day for two whole months and counted many eagles – so let’s talk about our numbers! We had close to 30 active volunteers to complete a total of 122 shifts. Daily count totals were diligently reported back to me through email and then gathered for posting on the SES website. This allowed interested eagle lovers to regularly view the number of eagles being counted from the dike.  We really appreciate everyone’s efforts in their reporting. The daily totals can be viewed online.

Below you can also see all of our volunteers’ hard work interpreted as graphs. This is where you can really see what the entire season looked like at a glance.

Please note that there are breaks in the PM lines on the graphs because of seven missed or unreported shifts.

Our highest count was on December 9 at 2:00 pm with 51 eagles. Other high points of the season included the mornings of December 12 with 47 eagles, November 15 with 44 eagles and November 30 with 41 eagles. There were many counts where numbers ranged between 1 and 10, but the average number counted this season was 16. Last EagleWatch season the total was never more than 30 Eagles: it’s interesting to know that some years we may be missing the higher numbers of eagles because of having fewer, less frequent, shifts. The patterns seen in the graphs have yet to be compared to the weather or salmon returns, which seem to  be the two main contributing factors to how many eagles are seen around Eagle Run. Finally, we have yet to compare this year’s data with that from previous years. Stay tuned to the SES website for any further information.

On behalf of the Squamish Environment Society and myself, thank you to all our volunteers for making this season safe and successful! Thanks for seamlessly adjusting to the modified schedule, being timely with reporting and being so dedicated to the EagleWatching cause! This season was a lot of fun to assist with and I’ll certainly miss being transported to the riverside every day through the reports in my inbox!

Katelyn West
EagleWatch Volunteer Coordinator 2020-2021

Photo by Kevin Dsouza, one of the volunteers who participated in this season’s  EagleWatch.