The bald eagle – America’s national symbol is a magnificent bird to watch in flight
Another spectacular sighting is at Alaska’s Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve where an annual gathering offers a superb photo opportuinity.The Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve was set upby the State of Alaska in 1982 to protect and gather the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles. Every of the preserve is used by bald eagles throughout the year.
The bald eagle has been a symbol in the US for centuries .
To Native Americans -they were sacred and during the War of Independence they came to represent freedom. Although you see the bird’s image on everything from coins to the Great Seal, you will never forget how awesome they are in flight with their mighty 2m (7ft) wingspan. Bald eagles weigh 9 to 12 pounds, whereas females weigh slightly more than the male species.
The best place to see bald eagles is Alaska…
Head to the Chilkat River close to Haines from October onwards and you will see the spectacular gathering of them. Over 3,000 eagles set up nest on one short stretch of river, lining the branches of cottonwood trees or congregating on sandbars in rediness. This is one of the few places along the river that does not freeze, thanks to its gravel bottom that retaines heat from warm summer water. it is also the spot where Salmon that have spawned come to die.
It is the lure warm water and supply of salmon that keeps these birds going through the winter. You can watch them eating and squabbling -some of them have travelled from as far afield as Washington State for the bounty. Haines runs a 2 day festivel in mid November where you can join guided viewings and watch wild rehabilitated eagles being released.