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We saw just about every activity and had some close encounters too. Your entire crew was passionate & knowledgeable about the majestic creatures we witnessed today. Keep up the good work!

Laureu & Matt, California

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocoephalus)

The Bald Eagle is one of the largest and most iconic birds of prey found in North America. Weighing 10-14 pounds with a wingspan of 72-90 inches, the females are slightly larger than the males.

Bald Eagles are opportunistic feeders. Although they primarily feed on fish, they can be found  scavenging, stealing prey or hunting for their own food. They do not eat everyday. When they do eat, they gorge themselves and store food in their crop, a pouch sitting between their mouth and stomach.

Unlike most animals, Bald Eagles mate for life and build some of the largest nests in the world. A mated pair will occupy a nest for up to 20 years, slowly adding material. The largest nest found was in Florida, measuring 20 feet high and 10 feet wide.

The recovery of Bald Eagle populations in North America has been one of the inspiring success stories of the conservation movement. The commercial use of the pesticide DDT had catastrophic impacts on Bald Eagles. DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in top predators; in eagles this toxic load caused females to lay eggs with abnormally thin shells unable to support growing chicks. When protected in 1967 by the ban of DDT, there were only 500 mated pairs remaining. By 2007, the US Bald Eagle population was considered healthy enough to be removed from the endangered species list.

The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places in the world to see Bald Eagles because of its numerous salmon runs. In British Columbia and Alaska, there is an estimated 90,000 Bald Eagles.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

The Great Blue Heron is the largest Heron in North America with a height of 36-55 inches and a wingspan of 66-79 inches.

They have a wide range of prey, but feed primarily on small fish and crustaceans.

Herons have extremely long, thin legs to allow them to wade through shallow, coastal waters collecting fish. The height of the Great Blue Heron provides an advantage over other heron species, because it can access prey in deeper waters.

Great Blue Herons typically nest in colonies, in trees near wetlands; these colonies can contain 5-500 nests.