The place to be this coming Sunday is Brackendale, B.C., for the 26th annual bald eagle count.
MUST SEE B.C. | Most of us, consciously or not, keep a running record of places we must absolutely see before our particular shot clock runs out. Chances are many of these destinations are the same: Paris, Prague, Katmandu. Probably not Brackendale, B.C. Exoticism requires distance, or so we imagine, and Brackendale is way too close to home to offer anything surprising or remotely unfamiliar.
But what if you could experience something extraordinary close by Vancouver in Brackendale, something exotic that people from other places make an effort to see—wouldn’t you want to experience it too, particularly if it were free?
Count Yourself In
This Sunday marks Brackendale’s annual winter bald eagle count. Due to declining salmon stocks, the number of eagles in the 40-square-kilometre count area has dropped from almost 4,000 in 1994 to just 627 birds last year, but they are still an amazing sight. At 26, the Brackendale eagle count is the oldest in the world according to Thor Froslev, who hosts the Eagle Festival at the Brackendale Art Gallery, where Sunday’s activities will include a one-hour FREE guided eagle walk ’n’ talk at 10 a.m.
If you miss this outing, you can view raptors on your own from the main “eagle run” facility located on the municipal dyke in Brackendale (bring binoculars and a telephoto lens for your camera) or take an float cruise, the surest way to see large numbers of birds. Sunwolf offers eagle viewing floats daily from 10 a.m. onwards. /Olivia Pittman