Impressed by the impressive

This past weekend we went in search of the migrating Bald Eagles who have begun arriving in the Fraser Valley from Alaska and northern BC. It was something we did two years ago (and I wrote about it then, too), but it’s not something to be done only once in a lifetime.

While they may not be the largest birds in the world (the Wandering Albatross and the Ostrich hold that record), the eagles who arrive here are the largest of their species, at anywhere from 28 to 40 inches in body length. They may weigh up to 17 pounds and have a wing span of eight feet. That’s pretty impressive, and I never tire of being impressed!

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles 2

Gorging on spawning salmon in the Chehalis River flats

Bald Eagles 3

Bald Eagles 4

This was the second of four consecutive weekends of the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. The main festival weekend is always the third weekend in November, but I’m happy to avoid the crowds. Besides, the largest number of eagles are usually evident later in the season, in mid-December, which is when we visited last time.

Our son and his wife and daughter accompanied us for the first time, but there weren’t as many eagles as I’d hoped to be able to show them. David Hancock’s blog reported “the Saturday at dawn count revealed 2,380 eagles on the Chehalis Flats and Harrison Bay — about twice the number over last year.” So they’re out there, just not always visible from the more convenient viewing locales. There were a few eagles in nearby trees, however, and we were able to bring back some nice photos.


If there’s a writing lesson to be learned here, perhaps it’s that timing is important. At the recent conference I attended, I had requests for both a partial and a full manuscript. I’ve procrastinated as I work through yet another revision, even though I’m aware that December is the least desirable month for agency submissions. In fact, some agencies are closed to submissions in December.

If we want our manuscripts to be well received, we need to have done our research… to know not only where but also when to send them.

Yes, I hear what I’m telling myself! 

~  ~  ~

7 thoughts on “Impressed by the impressive

  1. michaelulinedwards says:

    About the bald eagle, Benjamin Franklin said it was a bird of bad moral character.

    • Carol says:

      Yes, I read that somewhere, too, but apparently it was said because he’d once witnessed an eagle stealing the catch of a hawk, something other birds will do. He also once suggested a rattlesnake would make a more appropriate symbol for Americans, so I’m not too inclined to take him seriously. LOL.

  2. elderfox says:

    Each year here in nearby rivers areas we have congregations of bald eagles that draws bird watchers from everywhere. The eagles are beautiful and Jayne has some beautiful pics and artworks of them. & I think I’ve seen an eagle carrying a snake in its beak or claws on a flag/document so maybe Franklin got in his two-cents worth ;0

    • Carol says:

      It’s such a treat to be able to see them in their various gathering places. I remember seeing quite a few on Lutak Inlet near Haines, AK during one summer when we had gone north via the Alaska State Ferry. I think I was more intent on trying to photograph the killer whales on that trip. Now I wish I’d taken photos of all the eagles, too. I didn’t know then that Haines also has a Bald Eagle Festival every November. Of course, those days were long before my digital camera and its zoom lens, and I probably wouldn’t have gotten close enough to anything for a good photo.

  3. Darlene says:

    Some great photos of a noble bird. Thanks for sharing them with us.

  4. Shari Green says:

    Good point about submission timing. I won’t be ready to send until the new year anyway, so that works out well! 😉 Love the pics…even seeing eagles as frequently as I do here, I never tire of watching them. Must be quite something to see so many in one place!

  5. Carol says:

    It was wonderful to see them, Darlene and Shari. I’m hoping I’ll see more on my next visit to the Island. That’s where I caught the photos in this post last summer.

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