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Rafting And Bald Eagle Watching On The Skagit River

Birdwatching or birding is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or through a visual enhancement device like binoculars...
WOW ! It even sounds boring ! Makes me fall asleep half way through that sentence.

But, combine something as dull as bird watching with rafting down a scenic river while enjoying the spectacular views of snowpacked mountains in the background ( and of course the eagles !) ...you get yourself an epic adventure !

The Skagit River is a seasonal home for one of the largest concentrations of wintering Bald Eagles within the ‘Lower 48 States’. The Bald Eagles migrate south from Canada and Alaska to their winter feeding grounds along the Skagit River that provides plenty of spawned-out salmon along the shore of the river, and tall cottonwood, maple and fir trees where they can perch and roost.
I am not sure which part of " Skagit River Bald Eagle Scenic Float Trip " triggered my adventurous mind, but I've been wanting to go on that trip for the past 3 years.

The best time to see the most eagles is December through February, when you might be able to see as many as 100 eagles from Highway 20 ( according to the Skagit River Interpretive Center 2010 ). According to other sources :
...500 to 750 eagles have been counted along the Skagit and nearby Nooksack and Sauk Rivers...

We scheduled our trip for the second week of February...and it was too late. Due to unusually ( ridiculously ) warm weather and lack of salmon, the eagles started migrating back to their homes earlier this year. The official count for our trip was ...disappointing 20 birds.

Nevertheless, we had a great time ! Crystal blue sky, lot's of sunshine, beautiful landscape and professionally guided ( no paddling, just relaxing and shooting pictures ! ) and interpreted float, made 2.5 hour drive ( from Seattle ) worth the time.

Several companies offer guided trips on the Skagit River. If you are a professional photographer, videographer, or a hard core bird watcher (?), they can customize the trip to your needs. Check out this link to watch a beautiful video of a rafting trip with one of the local companies.


Casey Knopik said...

Bummer the birds left early so you didn't see 100s. But it looks like the weather was amazing!

ExtraHyperActive said...

The weather was amazing ! The trip itself was worth going ...Didn't care much about the birds anyway...