An outing: Nooksack River and the Eagles

By Leslie Parks - Monday, January 19, 2015

I pull into the little parking area just off Mosquito Lake Road and get out of the van.  I am giddy with excitement and immediately start scanning the trees and river bank.  I don't see anything but I know that just across the road there is the possibility of eagles.  I grab my camera, extra camera cards and batteries.  The kids get out of the van and we head up to the road.  We are immediately greeted with a large bald eagle in a tree right in front of us.  The boys marvel at the sheer size of the thing.  Down along the river is another group of three eagles, tearing something apart. Farther along the river bank there are four or five eagles on the ground, a couple more in trees.  We watch them hop along the shore, spreading their wings and push off the ground soaring over the river. Our eyes start to pick out more and more eagles on both sides. Some of their feathers are spotted and they have brown heads which means they are still juvenile birds, they haven't reach adulthood yet.  We start counting, three here, a three in a tree, three more in another tree, one on a log in the river and it goes on.  Seventeen total of the ones we can see.  They are beautiful, powerful, majestic.  It is amazing that we can pretty much drive right to a perfect viewing spot of these birds.  We wait for them to soar and glide, hoping that they will swoop down to pull a fish out of the river but we don't see that. Instead we listen to their cries and watch as they spread their wings, jockeying for positions along the bank or in the trees.  More cars pull up and people get out, kids are amazed and their eyes light up with excitement. What an opportunity. We live in such a beautiful and special area. I get to get out to enjoy it with my kids and I am overcome with gratitude.

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