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This is a special edition of the quarterly newsletter focusing on the 1998 Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival (November 28th and 29th - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day). The site maps are not included here at present.

The 1996, 1997 and 1998 festivals were organized by British Columbia Wildlife Watch. Financial sponsors of the 1998 festival are:

BC Hydro     Friends of the Environment Foundation     Vancouver City Savings Credit Union

Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks   Park Place Restaurant
Articles in this volume:

New   Looking for a specific article? All newsletter articles are now listed in broad subject categories. Within each category the articles are listed in chronological order by newsletter.


Welcome - New Activities

Welcome to the 1998 Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival! The purposes of this event are to facilitate public viewing of Bald Eagle, to encourage appropriate viewing ethics and to foster a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the wildlife and habitats of this area.

This is the 3rd annual festival with more activities and displays than before, including a new indoor site. For children there is an opportunity to build a bird feeder to take home, to participate in a wetlands game and to enjoy, with parents, a native legend or two.

There are more food and beverage venues at the sites. Hot dogs and beverages are available indoors at the Tapadera Estates' club house, and coffee, expresso drinks and goodies are for sale on the beach at Kilby Provincial Park.

But some things don't change! You can still visit Henry, the 220 lb sturgeon, at Inch Creek Hatchery, watch birds through Bushnell binoculars and spotting scopes, and participate in the passport prize draw, with total prizes worth over $1,800 in retail value.

In a continuing effort to make this festival self-supporting, there are a number of ways that your activities will benefit the festival.

As always, this event would not be possible without financial sponsors, partners, contributors, prize donors, participants and the many volunteers who give their time to help out at the festival sites. A sincere thanks to you all.

Enjoy the festival!

April L. Mol, R.P.Bio.

    Organizer, Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival
    Project Manager, British Columbia Wildlife Watch
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Eagles and Swans - Feature Species


    The Harrison Bay, Chehalis Flats and Nicomen Slough areas of the Fraser Valley are the winter home to about 700 to 1,100 eagles. While there is a small resident population of Bald Eagle that nest throughout the Fraser River estuary, the birds observed here are from areas north of the Lower Mainland, including the mid to upper Pacific coastline, and many interior lakes and rivers.

    The actual number of eagles that you see on a visit will vary. It will depend on the availability of salmon carcasses in the local streams, sloughs and rivers. The number of eagles visible will be greatly reduced if the temperature is low enough to cause the streams to freeze over, or if large amounts of rain cause the rivers to flow high and fast. In both of these cases the eagles will not be able to get to the salmon carcasses, and many eagles will move to other winter feeding areas.

    The best viewing period is from mid November through mid January. However, in some years, eagles have been present in large numbers well into late February. Peak numbers usually occur in late December and early January.

    The Bald Eagle is a large dark brown to blackish-bodied raptor that attains a white head and tail when it reaches maturity at about 4.5 years old. Until that time the plumage varies from an all brown juvenile stage through a series of brown plumages that show varying degrees of white on the belly, underwings and back, with dark or mottled head and tail.

    The average wingspan of a Bald Eagle is 203 cm (80 in), with a range of 168 to 234 cm (66 to 99 in). Body length averages 70 cm (31 in), with a range of 77 to 97 cm (28 to 38 in). Bald Eagles look heavier than they really are. The average eagle weighs 4.3 kg (9.5 lb), with a range of 2.9 to 6.3 kg (6.5 to 14 lb). Females are usually one-third larger than males.


    Almost all of the swans that winter in the Harrison Bay, Chehalis Flats and Nicomen Slough areas are Trumpeter Swan. However, occasionally you may see a Tundra Swan. Trumpeter Swan are the largest waterfowl species, with an average wing span of 196 cm (77 in) and weighing up to 12.5 kg (28 lb).

    The number of swans wintering in these Fraser Valley waterways has been increasing slightly over the past few years. Based on winter counts, there are an estimated 150 to 200 swans, of which many may be young birds born this past spring. These young birds are easily identified as their plumage is brownish-grey.

    During the winter period you can see the family groups as the young stay close to their parents. Families with four surviving young have been observed here, but one or two is most common. A female lays an average of five eggs, so you can see that the number of young surviving through to the winter months is rather low.

Sites and Activities - Festival Details

The displays and activities of the 3rd annual Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival are distributed between four sites, Kilby Provincial Park, Inch Creek Hatchery, Tapadera Estates and the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce InfoCentre. The Kilby Provincial Park site includes the Kilby Historic Store, Harrison River Tea Room, and Chamber tent where boat tours can be booked. The Mission InfoCentre will be open during the festival to obtain general information, to purchase festival passports and to enter the prize draw.

Kilby Provincial Park

Inch Creek Hatchery

Tapadera Estates

Be Wildlife Friendly - Viewing Etiquette

Undisturbed access to food is key to the survival of wildlife. Once Bald Eagles and other birds are disturbed from their feeding activities by humans getting too close, they may not return to feed at that spot for several hours.

Please keep a healthy distance between you and all wildlife. This allows you to observe them without causing them stress. Use binoculars and scopes to get a better look. When close to wildlife, move slowly and keep your voice low. Keep dogs on a leash at all times. Fade into the woodwork by avoiding brightly coloured clothing. Natural colours, and clothes that don't rustle are best.

Passport Draw - How to Enter

Support the Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival by purchasing a passport for each member of your family or group. Each passport is $2, and 100% of the purchase cost will go towards the 1999 event.

Visit the sites, displays and activities to collect the passport stamps. Collect at least 10 of the 14 stamps and you are eligible to enter the prize draw. One entry per passport is permitted.

Take your passport for validation to either Inch Creek Hatchery, Kilby Provincial Park, Tapadera Estates or the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce InfoCentre. Fill in the entry form and receive another passport stamp. Only entries received by 3 p.m. on November 29th are eligible. The draw will take place after December 4th. Good luck!

Passport Stamps - Where are They

There are 14 special passport stamps for the 1998 festival. You need only 10 of them to enter the passport prize draw. They can be found at the following locations:

    Inch Creek Hatchery (4 stamps) - enter at this site
      Inch Creek Hatchery
      Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society
      Pacific Streamkeepers Federation
      Kanaka Education and Environmental Partners Society

    Kilby Provincial Park (4 stamps) - enter at this site
      BC Hydro
      Native Legends
      Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society
      Feed the Birds

    Tapadera Estates (4 stamps) - enter at this site
      British Columbia Wildlife Watch
      The Bald Eagle
      Wetlands are Wonderful
      The Residents of Tapadera Estates

    Chamber of Commerce InfoCentre - enter at this site
      Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce

    Kilby Historic Store and Farm
      Fraser Valley Outdoor Adventures Ltd.

Passport Prizes - What You Can Win

The following prizes have been generously donated for the 1998 passport draw, and are worth over $1,800 in retail value.

Many of the prize donors have supported the festival in previous years. Donors that have contributed a prize(s) in all three years are denoted by ***. Donors providing a prize(s) for the second time are denoted by **. We are pleased to welcome many new contributors, denoted by *.

An extra copy of many books, denoted by # has been provided by the donor, and will be on display at Kilby Provincial Park.

    Bushnell ***
      8 x 42 Birdlife Binoculars
    Habitat Conservation Trust Fund ***
      British Columbia Wildlife Viewing Guide (Bill Wareham) - 2 copies
    British Columbia Wildlife Watch ***
      # The Big New British Columbia Travel Guide (Beautiful British Columbia Magazine)
      Our Wildlife Heritage - 100 Years of Wildlife Management - 5 copies
    BC Parks ***
      Beautiful British Columbia - The Parks of British Columbia (video)
    Fenn Lodge (Bed & Breakfast - Harrison Mills) ***
      1 nights accommodation
    Little House on the Lake (Bed & Breakfast - Harrison Hot Springs) ***
      The Sacred Balance - Rediscovering Our Place in Nature (David Suzuki)
    Murdoch's Bookshoppe (Mission) ***
      Canadian Birding Trivia Calendar 1999 (Geoffrey Holroyd)
    Fraser Valley Outdoor Adventures Ltd. ***
      Canadian Birds (Bruce Obee)

    Beautiful British Columbia Magazine **
      1 year subscription to Beautiful British Columbia Magazine - 3 subscriptions
    Whitecap Books **
      # Eagles (David Jones) - 2 copies
      # Welcome to the World of Eagles (Diane Swanson)
    Raincoast Books **
      # Eagles - Masters of the Sky (Rebecca L. Grambo, Editor) - 5 copies
    Greystone Books **
      # Sockeye Salmon - A Pictorial Tribute (Hiromi Naito) - 2 copies
    PTC Phototype Composing Ltd. **
      # British Columbia Recreational Atlas - 3 copies

    Ed Rychkun *
      # Wilderness Trails in the Lower Mainland (Ed Rychkun)
      # Wilderness Camping in the Lower Mainland (Ed Rychkun)
      # Regional Parks in the Lower Mainland (Ed Rychkun)
    Birder's World Magazine *
      # 1 year subscription to Birder's World Magazine - 6 subscriptions
      Birder's World 1999 Calendar - 12 copies
    Science World British Columbia *
      2 general admission passes
    Park Place Restaurant (Agassiz) *
      Luncheon for 2
    Harbour Publishing *
      # Where to See Wildlife on Vancouver Island (Kim Goldberg)
      Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest (Andy Lamb & Phil Edgell)
    Heritage House *
      Provincial and National Park Campgrounds of British Columbia - A Complete Guide (Jayne Seagrave)
      Cries of the Wild - A Wildlife Rehabilitator's Journal (Jeff Lederman)
    Orca Book Publishers *
      # Bald Eaglets (Victoria Miles)
      # Eagle Dreams (Sheryl McFarlane & Ron Lightburn)
    Gordon Soules Book Publishers *
      # Arctic Adventures: Exploring Canada's North by Canoe and Dog Team (Ian & Sally Wilson)
      # Wilderness Seasons: Life and Adventure in Canada's North (Ian & Sally Wilson)
      # Adventures at Mitchell Lake: Retreating and Recharging in Canada's Wilderness (William R. Corbett)
      # The British Columbia Bed and Breakfast Guide: Also Includes the Banff/Jasper Area (Sarah Bell)
      # The British Columbia and Alberta Adventure Travel Guide: Guided Outdoor Trips and More (Sarah Bell)
      # The British Columbia Lodge and Resort Guide: Also Incl. the Banff/Jasper Area & the Yukon (Sarah Bell)
      # Hot Springs of Western Canada: A Complete Guide (Glenn Woodsworth)
      # Bicycling Near Vancouver (Margaret Slack)
      # Exploring the Seashore in B.C., Washington and Oregon: A Guide to Shorebirds & Intertidal Plants & Animals (Gloria Snively)
      # Backroad Mapbook, Vol. 1: Southwestern B.C.'s Most Complete Rec. Guide (Russell & Wesley Mussio)
    The Nature Conservancy of Canada *
      The Book of Eagles - 3 copies
    Bramco Impressions (Printers, Mission) *
      600 Business Cards

Thank You - Festival Partners

The 1998 Harrison Chehalis Bald Eagle Festival is made possible through the involvement and/or contribution of the following:

    BC Hydro
    Canada Trust's Friends of the Environment Foundation, Mission/Maple Ridge Chapter
    Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Wildlife Program
    Park Place Restaurant, Agassiz
    BC Parks, Lower Mainland District
    Inch Creek Hatchery, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Residents of Tapadera Estates
    Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce
    Fraser Valley Credit Union
    Fraser Valley Regional District
    First Heritage Savings Credit Union
    Agassiz Harrison Economic Development Committee, District of Kent
    Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF)
    Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia (WBT)
    Federation of British Columbia Naturalists Foundation
    Birder's World Magazine
    Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL)
    BC Hydro, Environmental Sciences Support Services
    Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society
    Royal British Columbia Museum
    Ducks Unlimited Canada
    District of Maple Ridge
    Tapadera Estates Sales Office
    Quality RV's, Chilliwack
    Burden Propane, Harrison Hot Springs
    Wild Birds Unlimited, Abbotsford
    Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society
    Burke Mountain Naturalists
    Central Valley Naturalists
    Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Festival
    Harrison River Tea Room
    Kilby Historic Store and Farm
    Fraser Valley Outdoor Adventures Ltd.