Squamish Bald Eagle Rafting Adventures – See the Mighty Eagles Up Close
Squamish is home to one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles in North America. Each November the bald eagles return to the area to spend the long winter days here. The eagles nest in old-growth trees which are ideal sheltered areas to roost and perch during inclement weather. During this time many visitors to Squamish go view these birds in a Squamish Bald Eagle Rafting Adventure. And there will be plenty of eagles to be seen. According to the Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, a staggering 3,769 eagles congregated together.
During the winter, the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers become ripe with spawning salmon which helps to feed the eagles. This also affords bird watchers the a perfect vantage point to watch the breathtaking birds as they feast. Approximately 300,000 salmon swim up the area’s rivers to span. An eagle’s diet usually consists of a combination of fish and small mammals. However, during the winter months salmon becomes their primary food staple. Each eagle consumes up to 1/10th of their body weight per day. The abundance of salmon in the rivers helps ensure that the eagles don’t have to exert very much effort to dine each day. In turn this helps them maintain their body weight to help fight the winter’s cold.
Floating the area’s waterways, you can view the birds up close in their natural habitat. Watch as they swoop down to snatch up salmon with their mighty talons. Once the eagle has snagged a fish, it usually flies to the shoreline to dine which presents bird watchers ample time for a photo opportunities. Often up to two dozen eagles perch on one tree to create a picturesque viewing opportunity. The eagle population remains active in Squamish until February when the salmon spawn is complete. Thereafter the mighty birds start to move on in their migration.
On the west side of the Squamish River is the 755 hectare Brackendale Eagles Park Reserve which was established specifically to set aside protected land for the wintering eagle population. Within the park’s boundaries are numerous information kiosks and telescopes. An interpretive display is also located in Brackendale at the Eagle Run Park on Government Road. The display teaches about the area’s eagle population and the annual salmon spawn. Eagle Run Park also hosts the Eagle Watch Interpreter Program every weekend which is run by volunteers.
Each December the annual Brackendale Eagle Festival takes place. The event is fun for the entire family. The festival includes a photo contest, eagle art show, eagle tours and the yearly eagle count.
With a Squamish Bald Eagle Rafting Adventure Trip, you can enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing the bald eagles up close. The raft trips run from mid-November to February. On the float trip, you will learn about the bald eagles, the salmon life cycle and enjoy numerous photo opportunities. You’ll spend the day floating down the river viewing the birds from numerous vantage points. At the end of the float trip, the rafts will dock at the riverside lodge where the rafting party will have the chance to dine on a bowl of warm stew with freshly baked bread to replenish your batteries before calling it a day.
When you decide to go on a Squamish Bald Eagle Rafting Adventure, all of the gear is included for the day. The raft trips are fun for the entire family. Be sure to wear warm, waterproof clothing for the raft trip. Please contact us to reserve a spot with one of our rafting trips to view the bald eagles up close this winter.