The Largest Bald Eagle Migration in North America

The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. Its range includes most of Canada and Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, and northern Mexico. It is found near large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply and old-growth trees for nesting.

The Bald Eagle is an opportunistic feeder which consists mainly on fish, which it swoops down and snatches from the water with its talons. It builds the largest nest of any North American bird and the largest tree nests ever recorded for any animal species, up to 4 meters (13 ft) deep, 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) wide, and one metric ton (1.1 tons) in weight.

Bald Eagles are not actually bald; the name derives from an older meaning of "white headed". 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 Bald Eagle's natural range covers most of North America, including most of Canada, all of the continental United States, and into northern Mexico. It is the only sea eagle endemic to North America. Occupying varied habitats from the bayous of Louisiana to the Sonoran Desert and the eastern deciduous forests of Quebec, to New England, and heavy populations along the Pacific Northwest States of the USA and Provinces of Canada.

The northern birds are migratory, while southern birds are resident, remaining on their breeding territory all year. At minimum population, in the 1950s, it was largely restricted to Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, northern and eastern Canada, and Florida. Today, they are much more common (almost attaining their peak numbers pre-colonization in North America), and nest in every continental state and province in the United States and Canada.

Northern Bald Eagles will also congregate in certain locations in winter. From November until February, one to two thousand birds winter in Squamish, British Columbia, about halfway between Vancouver and Whistler. Another 5,000 to 8,000 winter in the Harrison and Fraser River area of British Columbia. This area is between Chilliwack and Harrison Hot Springs. The birds primarily gather along the BC Rivers as they are attracted by the salmon spawning in these areas.

Every year we run a few Bald Eagle Workshops for amateur photographers. These photo workshops center in on the largest bald eagle migration in North America. Between 2000 to 8000 bald eagles find their way to this area beginning in October to feed on the spawning salmon. They then stay in the area until later in the winter months to have their young before returning to their summer area in Northern BC and the Yukon.

Your guides(s) for this tour will guide you to the best locations for photographing the eagles in the Fraser Valley that is surrounded by the Cascade Mountain range. This is the fourth year we have returned to this location and Kevin lived within 30 miles of this location for three years prior to running workshops here.

Primary Bird Species we will be photographing

We will also visit between peak eagle viewing time. We have seen the following species at these locations in previous years: Snowy Owl, Red Tailed Hawk, Pacific Loon, Red Throated loon, Grebe, Golden Eyes, Wood Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, Herons, Buffleheads, Mergansers, Egrets, Snow Geese, Mute Swans, Rough Legged Hawk, Canvas Back, Golden Eagles, Peregrine Falcon, Virginia Rail, Common Snipe and Great Horned Owl.

White trumpeter swans and snow geese also converge on the productive Harrison region every winter. These birds migrate to the Harrison Valley during the cold winter months, feeding mostly on corn left over from the fall harvest. Trumpeter swans and snow geese are often spotted swimming in the region’s many sloughs or feeding in the corn fields along the roads we drive on during the workshop.

Dates of Workshops: November 20 to November 24, 2016 and November 26 to November 30, 2016

The cost for the five day workshop is $2675CAD (approx $1995USD) and $324 for a single room

To reserve a spot, a $1000CAD deposit per reservation.  The final installment to be made 90 days prior to the start of the workshop.

Guides for these workshops: Kevin Allen Pepper and Chris Pepper

The Maximum attendees per session are 4, the minimum attendees per session are 3. Bring your non-photographer spouse for $595 as there is a spa in Harrison with many sightseeing opportunities. (includes their accommodation and the same meals that are included in your workshop)

The tour cost includes all the following: Shared accommodation at a local hotel along the beach. A welcome meeting/dinner with your fellow photographers and your guides. All breakfasts, Daily snack lunches and drinks while on location, dinners, Personal hides to use during the workshop. Instruction in the field with your photographer guides with a maximum of 3 photographers per guide, Image critique (optional)

The tour cost does not include: International or domestic airfare. Travel Insurance, Alcohol, Items of personal nature, Anything not outlined as included. We begin the tour with a welcome meeting in the afternoon of day one as we get to know everyone and discuss the plans for the coming days. For the next five days we will make frequent visits to the different viewing grounds. Once on site, your instructors will utilize their knowledge of the area and the eagles; then guide you to that perfect location for obtaining your “once in a lifetime” shot in the picturesque British Columbia scenery.

We can also head out to some of BC's pristine landscape and waterfall photography locations in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

The tour size is limited to six photographers so you can count on minimal interruption throughout your journey in British Columbia. The maximum attendee to instructor ration is 3-1

What you will learn: We will focus on planning for a successful bird of prey shoot... from clothing, to gear, to positioning and planning techniques.

When we are out photographing raptors we will discuss camera settings, holding your camera properly and what settings to consider using to maximize the number of shots that you consider a "keeper". We will also discuss bird habits to watch for to increase your success.

When we return to the hotel we will then open up our laptops and discuss editing techniques to achieve sharper images, composition from cropping and introduce you to some techniques we use to create more appealing images.

Secondary Species we will looking to photograph

Day One Events - Pick Up attendees from the Abbotsford Airport in Abbotsford, British Columbia and transported to our Hotel in Harrison Hot Springs. You should arrive to be picked up before 11am.

Meet and Greet Lunch for group at resort (included) after a photography shoot session with the eagles along the shores of the rivers.

Day Two Events - Today we will be visiting all our scouted locations where the eagles traditionally hunt and rest. Expect to be out photographing eagles from 730am till 330pm.

Night time editing session to look at your photos and help you make adjustments to capture better photos in the coming days

Full Breakfast / juice and snacks during the day and dinner is included

Day Three Events - Half of the day we will spend at the Delta Dykes or George C Reifel Bird Sanctuary and the other half of the day we will be visiting our scouted areas where the eagles traditionally hunt and rest.

Night time editing session to look at your photos and help you make adjustments to capture better photos.

Full Breakfast / juice and snacks during the day and dinner is included

Day Four Events - Today we will be visiting all our scouted locations where the eagles traditionally hunt and rest. Expect to be out photographing eagles from 730am till 330pm.

Night time editing session to look at your photos and help you make adjustments to capture better photos.

Full Breakfast / juice and snacks during the day and dinner is included

Day Five Events - We will be out photographing eagles at the various locations we have scouted until noon. After that we will take you to the airport. Please schedule your departures after 3pm and you will be transported to airport after one last morning photographing the eagles along the flats of the river’s edge.

Full Breakfast is included

If you are ready to see the largest Bald Eagle Migration in North America, or have some questions, please visit the link below.

http://northof49photography.com/contact-us

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Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com