Make sure you have your camera handy on the Haines Highway – Valley of the Eagles in Alaska– you may capture a shot of an eagle making a spectacular dive into the Chilkat River to catch a fish! Catch a glimpse of these majestic birds along the ‘flats’ of the river and all along highway pull-offs, for this National Scenic Byway hosts the world’s largest concentration of Bald Eagles.
Over 400 of the majestic birds live year-round in the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, which surrounds a large portion of the byway. Between October and February each year, approximately 3500 eagles flock to the area to feed on salmon. The waters of the Chilkat River remain five to ten degrees warmer than the surrounding ground and never freeze, making the river a popular salmon-spawning site.
Want to learn more about these fantastic birds? The American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines focuses on the natural history of our national bird. During the summer months, the museum is open daily, and staff is on hand to answer all of your birding questions.
- Public domain. Photo by Lori Stepansky