Jack once told me, he saw a bald eagle fly high by the window of our highrise condo building. The soaring bird was at eye level. That’s very high –over 20 stories high. If you are patient, while biking, jogging or walking slowly around
the shoreline in Vancouver, a bald eagle might be soaring ahead or perched up in its huge messy tree nest in downtown Vancouver.
Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, British Columbia
For last few years, we have long wanted to see these magnificent birds in their wilderness. So we headed north from Vancouver, along the Sea-to-Sky (highway 99) highway that hugs the gorgeous ocean-mountain rimmed coastline 50 km. to Brackendale in early January.
In Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, there is an annual late fall-early winter migration stopover for several months by several hundred bald hundred eagles
by the Cheakamus River. Unfortunately that winter, the migrating eagle numbers had dropped because of inexplicable low wild salmon runs from the Pacific Ocean. These eagles often are found by water bodies that provide rich wild salmon and other sealife for food.
Still, we spotted some bald eagles and a large golden eagle roosting in the tree by the river along Eagle Run path where people are permitted walk, set up telescopes and cameras. With the sun beaming brightly in -5 degree C winter temperatures and warmed snow, the eagles’ plummage glistened against the blue sky and tree branches.
Afterwards, we hopped over into town, for a mini peek at the local Brackendale Art Gallery and Teahouse. Its longtime owners-couple with hippie artistic flair and bald eagle enthusiasm, had just placed their property on sale. So we wanted to drop by before the next fate awaits this local post-eagle watch destination. It’s a quirky building with artistic homage to eagles and beautiful west coast Nature.
Hanging Out in Urban Tree Aeries: Metro Vancouver
In another Cycle Write blog post, I’ve featured urban bald eagles nesting high above in trees or perched proudly on top of a totem pole embedded with an eagle carving. The latter photos are an irresistible treasure especially in a city. We’re never tired of capturing such photogenic memories near home right in downtown Vancouver.
Jim Hancock, a long time eco-advocate of bald eagles in British Columbia, explores this bird’s habits with David Suzuki, a national CBC-TV broadcaster on science and environmental protection. The bald eagles’ habitat of 30 metre high trees for their nests, is threatened with more felling of tall trees in Metro Vancouver because of large home construction.
Now, there is greater densification of eagles’ nesting tree aeries –not a great trend. Eagles jostle and fight over their living territory at times. You’ll see in the video, The Eagles Next Door below which will fascinate you with both fascinating footage of soaring eagles, nesting and behaviour with lesser known facts.
For myself, part of Pacific west coast living, is in one’s lifetime, to witness these magnificent bald eagles in flight or perched proud and alert high up in the trees. It’s Nature’s living icon, the bald eagle that hopefully endures not just in our memories, but among the forest and by the shoreline.