Bald Eagle in Wilderness, Our Neighbourhood – Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park and Vancouver

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

Bald eagle. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Chong
Bald eagle. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Chong

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

Bald eagle couple surveys its world on top of totem. Cypress St. Vancouver BC 2016. Photo by J.Chong
Bald eagle couple surveys its world on top of totem. Cypress St. Vancouver BC 2016. Photo by J.Becker

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.

Golden eagle -another type in wilderness. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Chong
Golden eagle -another type in wilderness. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Chong

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.

Bald eagle taking flight. Cheakamus River, Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park. British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Becker
Bald eagle taking flight. Cheakamus River, Brackendale Eagle Provincial Park. British Columbia 2016. Photo by J.Becker

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.

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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.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2683072196

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.

Blue heron. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, BC 2016
Blue heron. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, BC 2016. Photo by J.Chong
Bald eagle in Vancouver BC 2015. Photo by J.Chong
Bald eagle in Vancouver BC 2015. Photo by J.Becker
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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Great post on the magnificent eagles in Vancouver and in the wilds! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. There is much to enjoy in our area. My best wishes for a great 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    Very interesting to hear Jack see a bald eagle soaring right outside the highrise apartment once. It must have been a bit of a surprise so high up. Sounds like you had a great time seeing them in the wilderness and got to spend some time watching them do what they do. From what you said about the salmon, they sound like the birds that go where the food goes…but I suppose that is all birds.

    Lovely close-up bird shots by you and Jack. Very sharp, very crisp. They look like they didn’t notice you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Thanks so much for the compliments. We loved these photogenic birds. Yes, the bald eagle go where the food is –fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thedumplingmama says:

    Happy New Year Jean! these photos are amazing. You look like you got so close.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Well, “closest” one was about 10 ft. up in the tree. 🙂 Happy New Year, dm!

      Like

  4. Your photos are outstanding, Jean. I’ve been lucky to see bald eagles in the California foothills, minutes away from my home. They are truly spectacular. Happy New Year and happy trails to you in 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      You know, I don’t associate bald eagles with California..or waaay south of us. They are wonderful to see when one is lucky.

      Congrats. evelyne on your wordpress highlight on your blog, etc. re 2017 resolutions!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen two bald eagles in Maine too! Thanks for your kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. livelytwist says:

    Lovely photos Jean. Eagles are fascinating birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      We enjoyed our outing and it was actually warm enough on that day.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. They are beautiful. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Just magnificent birds. Hope you’ll see one.

      Like

  7. Sue Slaght says:

    Such incredible birds! When we hiked the West Coast Trail we saw many of these amazing eagles. Your photos are astounding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jean says:

      Thx so much Sue. Some came from my partner. Though the eagle count was lower because of less salmon, it was a perfect day to see some. A truly west coast experience. 🙂

      That would have fabulous to see so many while hiking by the ocean.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue Slaght says:

        It truly is a memory that will forever be treasured.

        Like

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