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PHOTOS: World’s biggest gathering of bald eagles feast in B.C.’s Fraser Valley

Thousands of eagles descend on Harrison River to eat salmon on migration route
A bald eagles stretches its wings in this recent photo. Eagles flock to the Harrison Mills area every year, peaking in November, as they migrate south for the winter. (Photo/Kelli Easton)

Photographers and bird watchers have flocked to the edge of B.C.’s Harrison River to catch a glimpse of the biggest gathering of bald eagles in the world.

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival once again welcomed bird enthusiasts to see the eagles as they descended on the Fraser River in Harrison Mills.

Thousands of eagles descend on the area to feast on the spawning pink salmon as the birds migrate south from Alaska and northern Canada. Biologist David Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation expected about 7,500 eagles in the area at the migration’s peak this past weekend.

Hundreds of eagles dotted the dry spots along the Harrison River as they feast on salmon. (Photo/Kelli Easton)

READ MORE: Salmon Spotting tool maps best spots to see spawners

There are a number of places in the area to view the eagles, even as their numbers start to go down in the weeks ahead. Hotspots include the beach at Kilby in Harrison Mills, the Nicomen Slough in Deroche and the Sandpiper Golf Course, along the specially marked eagle walking trail.

Photographers gathered at a gazebo viewing area at Sandpiper Golf Course in Harrison Mills, hoping to get the photo of a lifetime as eagles descend on the Harrison River. (Adam Louis/Observer)

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Society hosted their namesake festival for 25 years; it was thought to be cancelled for good in 2020. The event was cancelled three years ago due to concerns that the festival’s popularity was having a negative effect on the area’s environment.

Until this year, the society focused on sharing information on the Harrison River as an important ecosystem, offering a self-guided adventure starting in 2020.

READ MORE: From ‘food’ to family member: B.C. hawklet adopted by eagles near Nanaimo

A juvenile bald eagle flies over Agassiz-Harrison. (Photo/Kelli Easton)

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Adam Louis

About the Author: Adam Louis

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