You get a hunch you’re seeing something truly AMAZING when even the guide of this eagle-watching float trip is chattering excitedly. “Look at this! Ohhhh!” says Capt. Dave Button, operator of Pacific Northwest Float Trips. “Oh man. They are having a heyday up there. It looks like a beehive. It’s a whirlwind.” Floating gently in an eddy on the Skagit River, we watch 25-35 bald eagles defining upward spirals above Saul Mountain just North of the River. Wings stretched wide, the birds soar effortlessly, circling on blue-sky thermal drafts in the mid-day sun. Much closer, the stark white heads of at least 17 bald eagles decorate a big old cottonwood along the river bank, while three or four hop about on a nearby sandbar picking and tearing at the carcasses of spawned-out chum salmon, surrounded by waiting gulls and crows. On the opposite bank more eagles perch in tress, and still others fly and and there.
“That’s awesome. I’m speechless“, says Ellen Blau of Mercer Island. “This is actually overwhelming!” It’s like we’re at the epicenter of the bald eagle universe, surrounded by these carrion-eating yet big, bold, majestic creatures.
We are, in fact, in the thick of one of the two largest seasonal congregations of bald eagles in the contiguous United States. Hundreds of the birds, from as far north as Alaska, come every winter to feed on the Skagit’s abundant run of chum salmon, usually staying from December through February.
Now you can view these majestic birds in the comfort of our 20 foot zodiac inflatables with high-back seats and heaters for your comfort and enjoying. Do join us for this incomparable river adventure..
See you on the river!