[Tweeters] Eagle Swarm

Bud Anderson falconresearch at gmail.com
Fri Jan 31 12:31:25 PST 2014

Many wintering Bald Eagles head for the Skagit Flats this time of year
after the depletion of salmon upriver on the Skagit and Nooksack Rivers.
They are looking for food. Ducks are a favorite and kleptoparasitic
behavior runs high. Great flights are to be seen.

We get our highest Bald Eagle counts on the flats in mid-February, which is
when we do our annual Skagit Flats Winter Hawk Count each year.

The increasingly "famous" eagle trees, a group of cottonwoods located just
west of the mouth of the Samish River, became a commonly used perch
starting about 15 years ago. The number of eagles using these trees has
been increasing steadily year by year.

Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen, a local Samish birder, counted over 50 balds
perched there at one time. Wendy Gibble had over 70 in the fields to the NW
of there during the hawk count last year.

So having such an aggregation of eagles is not at all unusual for this time
of year.

Particularly if there is a good food source there that pulls them in to the

And fortunately, all this coincides with the Edison Birding Festival.

Bud Anderson
Falcon Research Group
Box 248
Bow, WA 98232
(360) 757-1911
falconresearch at gmail.com
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