Tourism Harrison Newsletter

Harrison Bald Eagle Festival

Harrison Bald Eagle Festival





The Laroan and her captain Steve Dunn, took thirty passengers on a three hour cruise of the Harrison River on an incredably beautiful Sunday afternoon. The emerald water created by the minerals of the gracier water which feeds Harrison Lake and River, added a touch of whimsy to the incredable wilderness landscape. Bald Eagles resting in the branches of deciduous trees looked alot like ornaments on christmas trees and the birds out hunting at times filled the air.  It's hard to imagine outright laughter in this setting, but sure enough it filled the boat when we were able to witness a tug of war between a young eagle and a seagull as they squabbled over some made in BC Sashimi.

Did you know that when a bald eagle loses a feather on one wing, it will lose a feather on the other in order to keep its balance? Or, that it's believed that bald eagles choose one mate for life. To impress each other, males and females perform special courtship dances in the sky. The dance involves locking talons and cart-wheeling through the air.

The bald eagle is Canada's largest bird of prey. It gets its food by direct capture, scavenging and stealing prey from other animals. Its diet consists primarily of fish. However, if fish are scarce, eagles refuse to go hungry and instead feast on rabbits, squirrels, birds and even young deer! It builds the largest nest of any North American bird, up to 4 meters (13ft) deep, 2.5 meters (8.2ft) wide, and one metric ton (1.1tons) in weight and reaches sexual maturity at four years or five years of age.

Bald Eagles are not actually bald; The word bald comes from the word piebaldwhich is used to describe something that is spotty or patchy.

The adult is mainly brown with a white head and tail. The sexes are identical in plumage, but females are larger than males. The beak is large and hooked. The plumage of the immature is brown.

The Bald Eagle population was severely affected in the mid-20th century by a variety of factors, among them the thinning of egg shells attributed to use of the pesticide DDT.  Female eagles laid eggs that were too brittle to withstand the weight of a brooding adult, making it nearly impossible for the eggs to hatch.

Other factors in Bald Eagle population reductions were a widespread loss of suitable habitat, as well as both legal and illegal shooting.  In 1984, the National Wildlife Association listed hunting, power-line electrocution, and collisions in flight as the leading causes of eagle deaths. Bald Eagle populations have also been negatively affected by oil, lead, and mercury pollution, and by human and predator intrusion.

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