The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center is now hiring for the Interpretive Center Coordinator & Education Specialist position for the 2023-24 season.
For more information and how to apply, please download the job posting.
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Last season’s report is available to view now: Season Report 2021-22.
Even with the clouds and rain, we’ve been busy these past few days at the Skagit River Interpretive Center. We hosted school groups on Friday and Monday, and over eighty visitors joined our weekend interpretive walks.
One highlight was a visit from Saint Bryan with King 5 TV’s Evening Magazine show! The episode will air in the next week or so. Stay tuned for more info on that. Speaking of press coverage, we made the front page on the Tuesday, January 3rd issue of the Skagit Valley Herald. Joe Ordonez, our education coordinator, is featured on the front cover of the January issue of the Concrete Herald.
You never know what you will find on our nature walks. On Monday, a group of kindergarteners from Lake Stevens were thrilled to watch five eagles fighting over a salmon on the shore below the Rockport Bridge. On Friday, we found a partially-eaten chum salmon up on shore in the middle of our nature trail. Three days later, it was still there. Nothing has carried it away nor eaten it, so we are using it as a prop for our salmon ecology talk!
In addition to our regularly scheduled weekend walks, we will be open Monday, January 16th for MLK day and will offer walks at 11:00am and 1:30pm. We hope to see you here! No sign-up required.
Our team here at the Skagit River Interpretive Center is looking forward to our opening day December 17th! The walks will leave our Interpretive Center in Rockport, WA at 11am and 1:30pm through mid-February. The schedule changes a bit through the holidays and so we wanted to share the dates and times with you here:
Saturdays and Sundays:
December 17th and 18th
December 31st and Jan 1st
January 7th and 8th,
January 14th and 15th
January 21st and 22nd
January 28th and 29th
February 4th and 5th
February 11th and 12
Wednesday, December 28th,
Thursday, December 29th
Friday, December 30th
Monday, January 16th (MLK day)
The walks last from 1.5 to 2 hours and travel along a flat. well-maintained trail. The trail leads into the rainforest, crosses a bridge over a wetland and ends along the Skagit River. Be sure to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. There will likely be snow on the trail!
The pre-season guide training sessions were led by Joe Ordonez, education coordinator at the Skagit River Interpretive Center. Joe has over 30 years experience training natural history guides and bald eagle educators.
“We just completed our guide training with two four-hour sessions on November 19th and December 10th. I had the pleasure of training an exceptional group of 14 volunteer guides this year. They bring a variety of backgrounds, education, and experience. Most of them live in the Skagit Valley and all of them are nature lovers. We look forward to sharing this fascinating corner of the Pacific Northwest with our visitors this winter.”
A major highlight of the training walks was watching chum salmon spawn in a side channel along the river. Bald eagles travel up the Skagit River to take advantage of this nutritious and easy-to-catch food source during these cold winter months.
As we watched the salmon spawn, a few bald eagles flew up the river corridor while others were seen perched in the tall cottonwood trees. We also saw some bald eagles sitting on stumps and downed trees at the confluence of the Skagit and Sauk Rivers. There are many variables and conditions are constantly changing, so we are not sure how many bald eagles we will see on our walks this winter. But it sure was a good sign to observe the spawning salmon.
The Skagit River Bald Eagle Awareness Team (SRBEAT) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates the Interpretive Center.
The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Rockport, WA offers opportunities to better understand the Skagit River ecosystem with an emphasis on the winter migration of bald eagles, salmon, and the vital role each play in our environment. Each weekend in December and January we offer Guided Nature Hikes along the scenic Skagit River and a Speaker Series. Our educational programs include a K-12 & Home School Program and Community Group Tours.
Now Seeking Board Members
Serve the community and support environmental education by joining our team! For more info contact, email@example.com, 360-853-7626.
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We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that does not receive any government funding. We depend on volunteers and donations to stay in business.