Eagles by the hundreds return to the Skagit River each winter, drawn to feast on the salmon that swim up the river and its tributaries to spawn.
It’s one of nature’s great displays, and one of the easiest for humans to see. Follow Highway 20 along the river between the towns of Marblemount and Rockport to spot eagles perching in the trees and swooping down to the river’s gravel bars.
Friendly volunteers with the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center are there to help. They outfit eagle-watchers with directions, tours and tips.
A History of Conservation
The Conservancy worked with partners to establish the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area in 1976, and has been working in the region ever since. With partners we’ve helped to protect more than 9,000 acres along the river banks of the upper Skagit. Now we are working with farmers in the vast and rich Skagit Delta to ensure that the salmon will continue to find their way up this river to draw the eagles back each winter. Click here to learn more about the Conservancy's work along the Skagit River and Delta.
Where to View the Eagles
Drive Highway 20 east from I-5 to the tiny town of Rockport, where the Sauk River meets the Skagit River. Walk out on the bridge that crosses the Skagit and look for eagles perched in the alders and maples that line the banks.
Drive farther east on Highway 20 – the next 10 miles of river includes much of the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area. Pullouts along the highway offer safe spots to search for eagles studding the trees or walking on the river’s gravel bars eating away.
The good folks at the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center have lots of great information and tips on their website: http://www.skagiteagle.org.