If you are a bird enthusiast, then Brackendale is the place to be. Every year literally thousands of Bald eagles gather for the winter. The Squamish River Valley has long been recognized as one of the most significant areas of wintering bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in North America. In the 1994 bird count, Squamish had the world record count of 3,769 eagles.
The river’s riparian area provides suitable habitat for roosting, perching and feeding. The prolific runs of chum salmon (Onc orhynchuus keta) in the Squamish, Cheakamus, and Mamquam rivers attract eagles from all over the Pacific Northwest from November to February each year.
Each year the Bald Eagle attracts thousands of people from around the world to observe them in their winter home. One of the best places to spot the Bald Eagles is at the Eagle Run view point on Government Road. There are also many tours set up for eagle watching. You can choose horse back, rafting or walking tours.
Annual Brackendale Winter Eagle Count Festival.
For more information visit the Brackendale Art Gallery. ‘BAG’ has hosted, and has been instrumental in organizing, consecutive Eagle Counts as part of the Brackendale Winter Eagle Festival. There are always lots of events at the Gallery including music, art, slide shows, tours and more.
The Squamish Estuary is a great place to catch a glimpse of the many other fascinating birds the Squamish area plays host to. Some examples of these birds are: Vaux’s Swift, Canada Goose, Warbling Vireo, Red Eyed Vireo, Violet Green Swallow, Northern Rough Winged Swallow, Black Capped Chickadee, Chestnut Backed Chickadee, Swainson’s Thrush, Cedar Wax Wing, House Sparrow, Turkey Vulture, Black Swift, Belted King Fisher, Red Breasted Sap Sucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Orange Crown Warbler, Townsend Warbler, and American Goldfinch.