Things to do

Soaring Bald Eagles on the Shubenacadie River

Posted: October 24th, 2009 in Things to do

There are few of us who have not been mezmorized by the sight of a bald eagle soaring across a bright blue sky. A symbol of strength and independence in the United States; one of many icons of ‘wilderness Canada; a soaring bald eagle is a common sight on the Shubenacadie River. This majestic hunter, once near extinction in North America has followed many a rafting tour down river in search of the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore.

A Bald Eagle in flight in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. A mature Bald Eagle (such as the one shown here) is dark brown, nearly black, with a white tail and head.

Dark brown, nearly black, with white head and tail, a mature Bald Eagle is a spectacular and powerful bird. Just how powerfully these magnificant birds of prey can attack a victim can be routinely observed in Kings County, Nova Scotia in late winter. Farmers there spread chicken carrion at designated feeding stations in the region. The diving and bombing manoeuvres of these 400 or so raptors attract birding enthusiasts from across North America, who attend the Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch every year in late January (or early February). The drive to this small Annapolis Valley community makes a great day trip for guests of Tidal Bore Rafting Park.

Bald eagles can be observed along the shores of the Shubenacadie in a more natural environment and nearly any time of the year. In summer, it is not uncommon for rafters to view several birds and a large nest of twigs and debris on a single rafting trip. During the winter, the birds are more widespread, especially along coastal areas in the province. The shores of the Shubenacadie River is one of only a few areas in Nova Scotia where there are large winter concentrations of the birds.

And if you want to see a Bald Eagle up close, real close, The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park is about 20 minutes away. There you can see, photograph and observe a Bald Eagle in all its splendor. The rescued bird is a favourite with hundreds of visitors to the wildlife park every year.

Hundreds of Bald Eagles gather in a farmer’s field during the Sheffield Mills Eagle Watch in Kings County, Nova Scotia. The event is held every year in this small Annapolis Valley community.