VANCOUVER, Nov 22 — One of the world’s largest known gatherings of bald eagles has started along the banks of Harrison River just east of Vancouver in British Columbia, west Canada, Xinhua news agency reported.
As temperatures in Alaska and parts of Canada’s north drop below freezing, the eagles fly south to B.C.’s southern rivers to gather and feast in these waters at this time each year. The result is a ballet show of bald eagles and wild, spawning salmons.
David Hancock, director of Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival, said they have one of the biggest rivers of salmons here. “That’s why we get the world’s largest collection of eagles. There are several times more eagles here in the first few weeks of December than has ever been seen in any other part of the world,” he said.
Hundreds of thousands of Chum salmons and other salmon species come to this spot up river from the Pacific Ocean to spawn.
After spawning, the salmons die and their life cycle starts over again. Local school children have arrived to learn about the salmons and to help biologists tag them.
Biologist Jim Thomas said thousands of these salmons were being netted and tagged before they spawned in coming days.
Later, teams return to count the tagged fish that laid their eggs and died here. Through percentages, biologists can predict how many young fish hatched this month will return to spawn four years later.
Not only are there thousands upon thousands of eagles and salmons at the river over the next few weeks, but there will also be crowds of eagle watchers.
Hancock said he expects as many as 5,000 bird lovers from around the world will arrive here to enjoy the show.