Ready, Set, Soar – Bald Eagles in Harrison

 In Harrison Beach Hotel Blog

Did you know that Harrison is home to the world’s largest concentration Winter eagle gathering? Taking place from November to January, this phenomenon is due to the thousands of spawning salmon returning to the Harrison River.

To celebrate this incredible wonder, the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival started nearly 20 years ago. Located in Harrison Mills, where the Harrison River widens offer shallow areas for the returning salmon to spawn. During this time, it is possible to see upwards of 10,000 Bald Eagles feasting on salmon.

Harrison Mills can see hundreds of thousands of spawning salmon over an extended fall season. Home to five species of salmon as well as steelhead and trout, the eagles are drawn to the area because of the abundance of food; salmon carcasses. Many eagles fly down from Alaska and Northern Canada where the rivers have frozen. Due to the frigid temperatures, the salmon carcasses become inaccessible trapped below the ice surface.

When it comes to viewing the eagles, it all comes down to location. The eagles tend to shift locations, from early morning to evening, so the best spots can change throughout the day.

Eagle Point Community Park
This is the only park facility along the Chehalis Flats and offer some of the best views of the eagles. Access is from the central parking lots between Eagle Point Estates and the River’s Edge Estates. Spawning salmon can be seen right at the viewing site. There are a view seats, as well as an elevated viewing platform and some local guides that are available.

The Pretty Estate Bald Eagle Observatory
They have developed a public pathway and observation area at the river’s edge to give a beautiful vantage point of the southern Chelhalis Flats. Their Bald Eagle Observation Deck is perhaps the finest eagle viewing site in the world. Even the river that runs through the Golf Course contains spawning fish. This is also the home of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation’s Harrison Mills bald eagle nest.

Kilby Historic Site
This beachfront park just south of Highway 7 offers a both a warm diner as well as a historic museum. The beach area trees can be seen lined with eagles.

Check out the beauty and biodiversity of the Fraser Valley. Book your stay today!