Bird Watching by Kayak

The Fraser Valley offers spectacular Bald Eagle gatherings with up to 1,500 eagle sightings in a single day during late fall until Christmas on the magnificent Harrison River amongst other birds.

Our area features a large variety of birds. To find a complete listing of all the birds of our area please review our Bird Checklist


Eagle_FlightThe mighty Fraser River and its tributaries, the Harrison and Chehalis rivers, offer some of the best and most scenic bald eagle watching in the world. These rivers also host some of the worlds largest salmon populations and when they spawn hundreds upon hundreds of eagles arrive to feast. In the late fall and winter months the eagle populations are most concentrated. It is an amazing sight to behold. See Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Big Leaf Maple trees full of eagles. One tree may have up to 30 eagles on it's large branches. The lodge is situated above the river and the bald eagles fly by at eye level.

Great Blue Herons

20070726-DSC_0054C-EditThe herons nest in colonies and there is one colony just a 20 minute walk or a 5 minute car ride from the lodge. They are noisy when they get together and when they fly their wing span is comparable to that of the eagle. They are majestic in flight and growing up in this area it was a real treat to see these birds which now have become very successful in their breeding and are plentiful year round.

Trumpeter Swans

These are among the biggest waterfowl in the world and are long necked members of the duck family. These birds have white plumage with a long neck, a black bill subtly marked with salmon-pink along the mouthline, and short black legs. The cygnets (juveniles) are grey in appearance, becoming white after the first year. Their beauty and grace contradicts their grumpy and quarrelsome characters. These birds need at least 20 feet (5-6 meters) in order to take off into flight.

Pileated Woodpecker

The word 'pileated' means 'capped' which refers to the red crest on their heads. The male Pileated Woodpecker can be distinguished by their red moustache and a red crest that extends to his forehead; the red in the female is only in her topknot. This species' underwings flash white in flight.

These birds have longer necks and their bills grow continuously making them capable of chiselling out elongated holes/homes. Like a lot of Canadians, these birds like their space and one couple can enjoy a territory of approximately one square kilometre or more. They grow to about 16" or 41 cm and live year round in our area.

Belted Kingfisher

The belted kingfishers have a blue-grey band around their breast and the females have red on the belly as well. Once again this being a world class fishing area we attract these fine fishermen. Albeit a greater skill level is required of the birds as they often will hover mid-air like helicopters before plunging into the water headfirst after their prey.

These birds are loners and chase away any other kingfishers from their territory. Only at mating time will they tolerate each other. They nest in a burrow which has been dug in a sand or clay bank. They dig with their beaks and push the sand/dirt away with their feet. The female broods while the male fishes for both her and the babies until the young produce feathers. Then they are taught to fish by the adults dropping dead fish into the water. Once they get good at fishing everyone goes their separate ways.

Below is a listing of all the birds that can be seen from and around the Fraser River Lodge.

Common Residential Birds
American Coot American Robin American Goldfinch
Bald Eagle Black-capped Chickadee Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird Brown Creeper Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye Common Merganser Common Raven
Dark-eyed Junco Downy Woodpecker Gadwall
Glaucous-winged Gull Golden-Crowned Kinglet Great Blue Heron
Grey Jay House Sparrow Hairy Woodpecker
Hooded Merganser House Finch Mountain Chickadee
North Western Crow Northern Flicker Northern Harrier
Pied-billed Grebe Pine Siskin Red-breasted Nuthatch
Ring-necked Duck Red-tail Hawk Red-winged Blackbird
Rock Dove Ruby-Crowned Kinglet Ruffed Grouse
Song Sparrow Spotted Towhee Steller's Jay
Varied Thrush White-Crowned Sparrow Winter Wren
  Wood Duck  

Common Spring/Summer Birds
Barn Swallow Bewick's Wren Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat Marsh Wren Orange-crowned Warbler
Rufous Hummingbird Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow
Wilson's Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler  

Common Fall/Winter Birds
American Wigeon Canada Goose Lesser Scaup
Mew Gull Northern Pintail Northern Shoveler
Red-Breasted Merganser Ring-billed Gull Trumpeter Swan

Uncommon Residential Birds
American Bittern American Dipper American Kestrel
Band-tailed Pigeon Barn Owl Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher Black-crowned Night Heron Blue Grouse
Bushtit Chestnut-baked Chickadee Common Loon
Common Snipe Cooper's Hawk Double-crested Cormorant
Evening Grosbeak Fox Sparrow Great Horned Owl
Green-winged Teal Harlequin Duck Horned Lark
Hutton's Vireo Killdeer Merlin
Mourning Dove Northern Pygmy Owl Northern Saw-whet Owl
Peregrine Falcon Pileated Woodpecker Purple Finch
Red-breasted Sapsucker Red Crossbill Ring-necked Pheasant
Savannah Sparrow Sharp-shinned Hawk Three-Toed Woodpecker
Townsend's Solitaire Western Screech Owl  

Uncommon Spring/Summer Birds
American Pipit Black-headed Grosbeak Black-throated Bray Warbler
Black Swift Blue Winged Teal Bullock's Oriole
Caspian Tern Cassin's Vireo Cinnamon Teal
Cliff Swallow Common Nighthawk Eastern Kingbird
Great Gray Owl Great Heron Hammond's Flycatcher
Hermit Thrush House Wren MacGillivray's Warbler
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Olive-sided Flycatcher Osprey
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Red-eyed Vireo Sora
Spotted Sandpiper Swanson's Thrush Townsend's Warbler
Turkey Vulture Vaux's Swift Warbling Vireo
Western Tanager Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher
  Yellow Warbler  

Uncommon Fall/Winter Birds
American Tree Sparrow Barrow's Goldeneye Black-bellied Plover
California Gull Canvas Back Cattle Egret
Dunlin Eared Grebe Eurasion Wigeon
Golden-Crowned Sparrow Greater Scaup Greater Yellowlegs
Herring Gull Horned Grebe Lincoln's Sparrow
Northern Goshawk Northern Shrike Old Swan
Red-necked Grebe Rough-legged Hawk Sanderling
Sandhill Crane Snow Goose Tundra Swan
  Western Grebe  

Rare Residential Birds
Anna's Hummingbird Golden Eagle Gray-Crowned Rosy Finch
Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl Spotted Owl
  White-tailed Ptarmigan  

Rare Spring/Summer Birds
American Avolet Black-chinned Hummingbird Calliope Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird Lazuli Bunting Long-Billed Curlew
Mountain Bluebird Nashville Warbler Purple Martin
Veery Western Kingbird  

Rare Fall/Winter Birds
Gray Falcon Harris' Sparrow Lapland Longspur
Long-billed Dowitcher Canvas Back Snowy Owl
Western Meadowlark White-throated Sparrow