Every winter, large numbers of Bald Eagles come from all directions on the North American continent and congregate along the coast of Southern BC. Squamish sees a great number of these birds who return to feast on the Salmon runs in the many converging rivers at the top of Howe Sound. I volunteer with a sub group of the Squamish Environment Society – Eagle Watch. We set up on the dike along Eagle Run in Brackendale, opposite the Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park. From here we offer the use of spotting scopes and binoculars to ethically view the eagles from a safe distance. We do hourly counts of the numbers along the stretch of river and also the people who are about and any observations of note such as seals in the water, rarer birds or other creatures that may be seen like bears or coyotes. The eagles can be observed roosting in the trees, soaring on the winds, feeding on the salmon carcasses and even squabbling over the food on the ground or in the air. I really enjoy volunteering as an Eagle Watch ambassador both for the time spent at the park, but also getting to meet people and answer curious questions about the birds and their habits. There are vast quantities of information available on poster sized wall infographics within the shelter and donation boxes to help raise money for the program. Each year in early January, the official Eagle count takes place, with teams of counters assigned throughout the Squamish Valley. Sadly in recent years the numbers have been mostly declining, although in 2014 we had a bigger year than the current trend, however the decline has continued since then. Many factors can effect the count, including the Salmon run and the weather. Extended warm Fall periods delay snowfall in the mountains which means river levels are high, flushing out dead salmon back into the ocean after they spawn and taking away from the eagles food source. I photograph the eagles when I can, but I do not have any real telephoto lenses to use to get right up close. I do the best with what I have, below are some of my favourites. You can visit the dike at any time, and can touch base with the Eagle Watch interpreters on weekends between 10am-3pm or like the facebook page for more info.