Every Winter in Skagit County is the Perfect Time to See Bald Eagles
In the winter, large numbers migrate from as far away as Alaska to eat the dead salmon carcasses that abound in the Skagit River and its tributaries. The best eagle-watching season is from late November to late January, with eagle numbers peaking from Christmas through the second week of January – about two weeks after the peak of salmon spawning (and dying).
There are many opportunities to observe and photograph bald eagles perching in the bare limbs of cottonwood trees or feeding on spawned-out chum salmon on gravel bars. The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center in Rockport is the place to start your visit.
Skagit Valley Eagles Activities:
Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center
The Skagit River Interpretive Center is open from mid-December through mid-February. Learn about eagles, watershed issues, and local, natural, and cultural history. Howard Miller Steelhead Park – 52809 Rockport Park Rd, Rockport. More information: www.skagiteagle.org or (360) 853-7626.
Guided Nature Walks
Guided nature walks are offered along the Skagit River. Walks departs from the Skagit River Interpretive Center headquarters located in Howard Miller County Park in Rockport. More information: www.skagiteagle.org or (360) 853-7626.
Skagit River Eagle Viewing & Photography Tours
Throughout the Winter, Eagle viewing and photography tours are available (reservations required). Experience a premier tour in drift boats with high-backed cushioned seats. More Information: www.skagiteagle.org (360) 510-1243.
Eagle Viewing Tips:
- To see eagles up close, use a telescope, binoculars or a telephoto lens. Keep noise low and your movements slow.
- Whenever possible, stay in your car and use it as a blind from which to photograph the eagles.
- Stay away from the river’s edge and gravel bars where eagles are feeding, especially between 5 and 11 a.m.
- Most of the river frontage is privately owned. Use public ares along the river and be courteous to local land owners. Do not walk across private property.