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 Forum Index > H.W.F. Community Information > Festivals of Eagles, Birds and Nature
 2014 Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival
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By: gemini (offline) on Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 01:53 AM EDT (Read 14324 times)  

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Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival - 2014
November 15 & 16

The Festival

NOV 15-16 2014 – The enormously popular Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival occurs the third weekend in November in perhaps the most biologically diverse and important areas in British Columbia. It kicks off the “Season of the Eagles and Salmon” in Harrison Mills, the ever growing community just 30 minutes east of the District of Mission. Please explore the website to find out all about the events that will occur during the entire season.

November 15/16 – The 19th Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Nov 22/23- The now annual Sts’ailes (First Nation) Salmon Festival supported by the Salmon Stronghold @ Pretty Estates Resort
Nov 29/30 – Winter Festival and Photography Weekend @ Pretty Estates Resort. Kilby Historic Site will also be open.

For details of the second and third weekends click HERE

Fraser River Safari Eagle Viewing tours will be running all weekend – David Hancock will also be joining select tours during the”Season”

Festival History: Deep in the heart of “Sasquatch Country” you will find North America’s largest gathering of bald eagles. The raptors are drawn to the area by the millions of spawning salmon that travel up the Fraser River to tributaries such as the Harrison River. The estuary is also home to incredible wildlife such as trumpeter swans, ducks, seal, bear, coyote, deer and the great white sturgeon.

For thousands of years the First Nation Peoples have lived here in harmony with the land and water and today they work with the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival to welcome visitors to teach and share the knowledge they have gained over the ages.

The festival’s roots go back to1995, when the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and the Wild Bird Trust, spear headed by April Mol, set out to create the Harrison/Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival.

In 1998, thanks to increased community involvement and new partnerships a small but very enthusiastic committee sprang to life. The committee worked to broaden the scope of the Festival and changed the name to form its new identity – Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF).

The FVBEF is now a registered society and works hard each year to create a celebration that showcases the beauty & biodiversity of the Fraser River Valley by honouring the majestic Bald Eagle & the Cycle of the Salmon.

From Mission to Harrison Hot Springs, many exciting venues offer excellent eagle watching opportunities and a range of activities and adventures that include jet boat eco-river tours; a Chehalis River walking tour; a diverse abundance of local wildlife; environmental presentations, naturalists and interpreters; historic and ancient aboriginal sites; displays by local artists; and lots of hands on activities and entertainment.

For the FULL 2014 SCHEDULE click here

Watch this beautiful video by Christian Sasse:

Season of the Eagle and Salmon


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By: gemini (offline) on Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 01:56 AM EDT  

Posted by David Hancock

Expanded Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival – Season of the Eagles & Salmon -- a must to attend for 2014!!

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Schedule of Events --- 2014

Eagle Release and preliminary schedule.
• November 12, 2014
Official "eagle release" at Pretty Estates Resort

Season of the Eagles Festivals:
The season will be marked by THREE weekends of festivities, lectures and displays.

• Weekend #1 November 15 -16 19th Annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (FVBEF)

David Hancock will provide lectures on the Wondrous Bald Eagle Recovery at Harrison Mills, the Bald Eagle Capital of the World, at the Tapadera Estates viewing site and act as a guide on numerous Fraser River Safari Eagle Tours through November and December. Other speakers will give presentations each weekend on other natural history topics. The FVBEF will host displays and various open houses at different locations on this first weekend – see: for schedule of events.

• Weekend #2 November 22 - 23 Second Annual Sts'ailes – Harrison Salmon Stronghold Salmon Festival at Pretty Estates Resort.

This day-long event will celebrate the Sts’ailes’ commitment to the salmon, their cultural ties through dancing, art, stories, carving and weaving demonstrations, a traditional salmon barbecue, and guided tours of the river, revealing their cultural ties to the Harrison region. The Chehalis Fish will also have exhibits. Sunday, Nov. 23, will be devoted to salmon and eagle viewing and viewing the Photographic Contest winners along with lectures – all at the Pretty Estates.

About the Sts’ailes

The Sts'ailes People have their ancestral home just upstream, another mile north along Morris Valley Road from the Harrison Mills eagle viewing areas. This area has been their continuous home for thousands of years and they have supported not just the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, the formation of the new Chehalis Flats Bald Eagle and Salmon Preserve, but are the key initiators of the Harrison River Salmon Stronghold. The Sts'ailes are "The Salmon People".

The Harrison River Salmon Stronghold, is Canada's first Salmon Stronghold, and is a new designation by international conservation organizations to acknowledge that this river system is one of Canada's most important salmon rivers -- and ecologically the foundation for supporting the world's largest gathering of bald eagles and a major host to waterfowl and sturgeon – as well as all 7 species of salmon.

About Pretty Estates Resort (home to Sandpiper Golf Course, Rowena’s Inn, and River’s Edge Restaurant)
Pretty Estates Resort offers front row seats to world-class eagle viewing situated on the banks of the Harrison River at the Home of the World’s Largest Gathering of Bald Eagles. A new Bald Eagle & Salmon Observation Platform, complete with telescopes, was just built. Live eagle viewing cameras are also installed on site and can be viewed live or on a large screen at Pretty Estates: . Also on display are the local First Nations carvers, the Sts’ailes, who also occupied this site for over 6400 years.

Restaurants: ­ The River’s Edge Restaurant is located right on site and other fine foods are available throughout the season at the nearby Kilby Historic Museum and Cafe or the Sasquatch Inn Pub or in nearby Mission or Agassiz .

• Weekend #3 November 29 - 30 Fundraising Barbecue and Photo Exhibit at Pretty Estates.

New this year. Bald Eagle Viewing and Salmon Spawning will be featured from the Pretty Estates Bald Eagle Observatory and the adjacent Elbo Creek. Also view the eagles at Kilby Historic Site ;

Two major new events will take place this 3rd weekend:

a) Fundraising Dinner : at Pretty Estates to provide funding, as will each event of the Season of the Eagles & Salmon, to support the building of the Sasquatch Crossing Bald Eagle Café -- an interpretative center and place were eagle viewing will be supplemented by extra salmon carcasses being placed out for the eagles over a longer season. Guest speakers, prizes etc. will be announced. See details:

Background on Sasquatch Crossing Bald Eagle Café: This site, accessed through the Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge on the Chehalis River, will include a viewing hut-interpretative center where schools, the public and photographers can view eagles. There will be nature trails with labeled vegetation & First Nations uses, etc. Live streaming cams will bring this event to world attention and we hope be used in many classrooms. It is also a key location of a beaver dam and salmon spawning site, in addition to being at the heart of the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles..

b) Photo Contest: Last year Christian Sasse presented a fine photo collection of his eagle images at the Pretty Estates. This year we have expanded the photographic content with Chung Ai Photographic Society, , Canada’s oldest and largest photographic society, putting on an international exhibit. As this contest grows the previous seasons' world class photo winners will be presented and sold as a fundraiser for area projects. Christian Sasse will have more images this year along with other featured local nature photographers' works.

Watch the site for all details of activities this weekend and others.

Bald Eagle Viewing Tours with Fraser River Safari Tours are available each of the 3 weekends and occasional mid-week tours are possible through the fall and winter. Book early to insure seats.

David Hancock HWF


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By: gemini (offline) on Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 01:56 AM EDT  



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By: gemini (offline) on Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 02:00 AM EDT  

By: TEF (offline) on Monday September 01, 2014 @03:02PM

Hi everyone

My sister and I will be coming to the festival in November. It's her first time out west and I'm the tour guide so I'm trying to plan out a bunch of trips, including the one in Harrison Mills, of course. I am wondering, we are planning to come to Vancouver on the Thursday, then drive to Harrison Mills on Friday and stay through Monday. Are we allowed to go to the gazebo by the golf course on the Friday and Monday or is it only available during the weekends? I know it's a golf course so I am not sure what the rules are.

Also, I've emailed Jo-Anne but was wondering if there are boat tours during the week or only on the weekends?


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By: gemini (offline) on Tuesday, September 02 2014 @ 02:01 AM EDT  

By: karenbills (offline) on Monday September 01, 2014 @05:27PM

Hi Lee. I just emailed you with the answers you are seeking. I've asked Sharon to start the new thread for FVBEF 2014 and she can transfer your post over there.


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By: camila (offline) on Monday, September 08 2014 @ 05:32 AM EDT  


This year we may also incorporate a new counting position in the north-east section of the Flats. This count will come from cooperation with the Fraser River Safari boat tours that enable us to access the eagles on the east side of the Harrison River, north of what can be seen from the eagle observatories.



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By: davidh (offline) on Monday, October 20 2014 @ 02:22 AM EDT  

Bald Eagle Viewing Sites at Harrison Mills

Please honor the feeding & resting eagles by keeping off the Chehalis Flats Bald Eagle Preserve.
Harrison Mills, BC, and more specifically the alluvial fan of the Chehalis River as it runs into the Harrison River, is the home of the largest wintering population of bald eagles in the world. Annually from November thru December and sometimes into February, 1,000 to 10,000 eagles can be seen on the flats and along that section of the Harrison River valley. Harrison Mills is the world capital of wintering eagles and is only a 50 mile drive from Metro Vancouver, the Bald Eagle Nesting Capitol of the World.

The Season of the Eagles & Salmon consists of 3 Major Festivals at Harrison Mills:

1st: The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival Nov. 15 - 16, 2014
2nd: The Harrison Salmon Festival: Nov. 22 – 23, 2014
3rd: The Harrison Mills International Nature Photographic Contest: Nov 29, 2014

The Season of the Eagles & Salmon
(schedule of events:,) annually bring this incredible eagle and salmon gathering to the public through a three week long celebration at Harrison Mills. In addition to the festival displays of live birds, educational displays and an introduction to many local conservation organizations, each weekend festival features something different.

ACTUAL VIEWING OPTIONS: First a CAUTION -- The Chehalis Flats Eagle & Salmon Preserve.
The public has free access to the Harrison/Chehalis River edge where the eagles feed and loaf on the flats or nearby trees – as outlined below. However, one large concern has emerged. The central flats is declared the “Chehalis Flats Eagle & Salmon Preserve” between October and February and no human activity is allowed out on the Flats. This includes no walking, kayaking etc. These eagles have flown many hundreds or thousands of miles to get to this feeding and resting place and it is terribly destructive and disruptive to be constantly driving them off their food, socializing or resting places on the gravel bars.

The eagles readily adapt to people walking under the trees along the shoreline viewing or photographing the eagles or having sports, fishing or tour boats traveling the deeper waters of the Harrison River Channel. Please respect the eagles' need for peace and quiet on the Chehalis Flats. In winter this very small area contains the world’s largest gathering of bald eagles. They need our respect.

The Festival puts out in printed form and on our constantly updated web site the schedule of the events. All the best and most accessible viewing sites are located in Harrison Mills, along the Chehalis/Harrison River shorelines. On the west side of the River go north up the Morris Valley Road from Highway 7 (turn north at the Sasquatch Inn!) to the three key sites below, or go east across the Harrison River Bridge and go south 1 kilometer to Kilby and Fraser River Safari Boat Tour sites. If you wish a preview of what fish are spawning or how many eagles are out on the flats go to the locally sponsored live streaming cams showing in season the spawning salmon, the feasting and resting eagles or the nesting bald eagles. The famous birders website Kathy’s Korner gives a full accounting of what bird life is present. The eagle viewing sites are as follows.

Tapadera Estates: This is a private gated community that is only open to the public on the first "official display" weekend of the Festival – always the 3rd weekend of November. They put on a great greeting to festival goers with telescopes in tented viewing areas, a warm fire, hot dogs and coffee and are the site of lectures in their beautiful recreation hall. There is parking and nature guides. Note: Tapadera is only open to the public on the 3rd weekend of November 15 -16, 2014

Eagle Point Community Park
, a Fraser Valley Regional District Park, is located on Morris Valley Road between Tapadera and Pretty Estates. This is the only Park facilities along the Chehalis Flats and offers the best view of the eagles. Access is from the central parking lots between the Eagle Point Estates and the River’s Edge Estates – between Pretty Estates Resort and Tapadera. Park rangers are on hand during the festival weekend. Spawning salmon can be seen right at the viewing site with sometimes more than 2,000 eagles sitting with 100 or more trumpeter swans on the flats right in front. There are a few seats, an elevated viewing platform and some local guides are available even after the festival weekends when even more eagles and swans can be present. This site is open year round.

The Pretty Estate Bald Eagle Observatory: (Pretty Estates Resort) has developed a public pathway and observation area at the river's edge to give incredible viewing of the southern Chehalis Flats, the spawning salmon and feasting eagles. Their Bald Eagle Observation Deck is perhaps the finest eagle viewing site in the world. Even the river that runs through the Golf Course contains spawning fish, both Chum and Coho. The Estates also have a wonderful restaurant and cafe (and a fast-food cart on Festival days!) that lets you eat and watch eagles or get out of the rain. This is also the home of Hancock Wildlife Foundation's Harrison Mills bald eagle nest that has two live streaming HD cams that can be watched from home. The background of this nest is the Chehalis Flats. This observation site is open all year – as well as the key viewing site for the entire Season of the Eagles & Salmon.

Kilby Historic Site: is a public beachfront park just south off Highway 7 east of the Harrison River Bridge. Here is both a warm fun loving family diner serving homemade food and also a historic Museum giving a glimpse into our Gold Rush Days -- when the Harrison River, via Douglas, BC, was a prime route to the Caribou gold fields. The beach area trees are sometimes lined with eagles and two other bald eagles nests are visible along their road. During the festival season this site also hosts displays and lecturers. This site is opening on more weekends each year as our festival and the boat tours awaken more people to our magnificent eagles.

Fraser River Safari Tours departure site: Fraser River Safari Tours is located in Mission and they regularly run tours up the scenic Fraser River and most fall weekends board parties of eagle watchers at the Kilby Railway Bridge for the 4 mile tour up the Harrison to see the eagles. While the boat stays to the deeper water channels of the Harrison River the adjacent trees are often adorned with hundreds of eagles. The tour's covered and heated boat with huge sliding windows greatly appeal to photographers and naturalists. For most people this is the easiest way to view eagles and my largest count of 7,362 eagles was made from this tour boat along 3 kilometers of the Harrison River at the Chehalis Flats. The Fraser River Safari operates most of the year but the wintering eagles are largely viewed October through January.

• Note: Some other viewing sites are available but poor roadside parking suggests we should not point these out. However adequate parking along parts of Highway 7 from Deroche thru Dewdney, along the Nicomen Slough, often have fine eagle, swan and other waterfowl gatherings. Be careful of traffic.
• Note: If you have suggestions as to what our Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival might incorporate please contact: Jo Anne

Watch Christian Sasse's Video:
Season of the Eagles and Salmon

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By: karenbills (offline) on Friday, October 24 2014 @ 03:19 AM EDT  

Here's the PSA (public service announcement) that has started running on some of our TV stations promoting our Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival on Nov. 15 and 16.

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