The eagles have landed!

We hope to see you at the next Skagit Eagle Festival!

Even though the bald eagle is a year-round resident of Northwest Washington, late fall and early winter offer prime viewing opportunities in eastern Skagit county as these iconic birds gather to feed on the carcasses of salmon that have died following their spawning runs.

In fact, the Skagit River Valley is known to host the largest concentration of bald eagles outside Alaska.

Veteran eagle watchers say the best time to watch is just before noon on a cloudy day. Eagles tend to feed about 11 a.m., so the birds will be most active then. Cloudy days find eagles perched in trees or flapping lazily only a few dozen feet in the air. On sunny days, they’re flying higher.

Can’t wait for the Skagit Eagle Festival in January?

We can’t wait for the Skagit Eagle Festival to begin again, either! And in fact, you don’t have to wait — there may be eagles to see right now. Visit Rockport State Park or walk along the Skagit River and visit the Interpretive Center during the December and January.

Howard Miller Steelhead Park houses the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center.

Stay tuned for more Skagit Eagle Festival activity announcements!

The Skagit Eagle Festival

The Skagit Eagle Festival is a month-long celebration during eagle-watching season in Skagit County. Activities take place in Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount every full weekend in January. During December and January Visit the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center at Howard Miller Steelhead Park (Saturdays and Sundays) or Rockport State Park (Fridays – Sundays) for a variety of free tours, walks, and educational programs where you’ll learn not only about these majestic birds, but also about a variety of wildlife and the beautiful areas along the Skagit River where they live or return each year.

Bald eagles, among the largest birds of prey, are opportunistic meat eaters often seen in local parks and greenbelts. Their winter migration to the North Cascades provides an opportunity to observe and photograph them in groups, feeding along riverbeds or roosting in trees in numbers that only occur from December to February when they come from as far away as Alaska to feast on carcasses of salmon that spawn, then die, along the upper Skagit River. Get up close and personal with a self-guided tour of the Marblemount Fish Hatchery, a visit with a Forest Service Eagle Watcher Volunteer (at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Milepost 100, or the Marblemount Fish Hatchery) or a-3 hour heated drift boat tour with Skagit River Guide Service (1-888-6-SKAGIT)

Special presentations during the Skagit Eagle Festival will teach you about a year in the life of an eagle, how to photograph wildlife and scenery, and much more. Each full weekend in January offers a variety of events starting off with the 5K Salmon Run/Walk at Ovenell’s Hertiage Inn on January 6. Marblemount Community Hall offers a day (Jan 13) dedicated to Native American Heritage and the Concrete Theatre offers free photography workshops. Bring your camera, dress for unpredictable winter weather, and come join us for one of the most uplifting and entertaining events of the year!

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