• [CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL PICTURE] Joe Ordonez captured this early snowfall at Rainy Lake, up on the summit of the North Cascades Highway. Snowfall in the mountains means that winter is approaching. Winter typically brings the bald eagles to the Skagit and Nooksack Rivers to feed on the late salmon runs. Photo Copyright: Joe Ordonez

1/12/2022 Update

It was a beautiful and action-packed weekend up at the Skagit River Interpretive Center. There was snow on the trail and beautiful sunshine. In addition to bald eagles (whose numbers are lower this year than year’s past) we saw lots of wildlife. A real treat was seeing a harbor seal in the Skagit River at the confluence with the Sauk River. This is a good sign, since harbor seals only travel great distances inland into fresh water when there are salmon to eat. The winter chum salmon run brings the bald eagles, so we hope that eagle numbers will continue to climb as the salmon work their way upstream.

The afternoon walk was treated to some excellent views of a Northern Pygmy Owl. Joe Ordonez, Education Coordinator, trained our spotting scope on the owl and everyone in the group was able to see the owl clearly. Later, a Great blue heron landed in the wetland section of the trail. Some in the group spotted an American kestrel sitting on top of an old, dead snag feeding on a small songbird.

Nature walks continue on weekends through the end of January. All our walks are scheduled for 11:00am and 1:30pm. As always, there is no need to sign up in advance. Be sure to bring shoes for the conditions, which may include areas of mud, or snow or puddles.

Bald Eagle Nest

Tanner Hons, 14 months old, checks out the bald eagle nest at the Skagit River Interpretive Center. Jan 2, 2022. Photo by Joe Ordonez.

Open All Week!

We are open all week (Dec 28-Jan 2) with guided nature walks at 11am and 1:30pm. Bundle up and come on a nature walk with our local naturalists here along the upper Skagit River. The scenery is sublime! Lots of fresh snow and cold temperatures. Creative Photo opportunities abound up here on the upper Skagit. Photos courtesy of Joe Ordonez.

An early morning reflection off the hood and windshield of Joe Ordonez’s Toyota Sienna.


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.

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