Rafting the Tsirku

Tue, Jul 11, 2017

We’re in Haines, AK and I thought it’d be fun to raft the Tsirku River.  It’s a tributary of the Chilkat River and mergers just upstream of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve.

So I signed up with Chilkat Guides for a four hr trip that’s actually 90 min on the water.

Today was typical Alaska weather, rainy and cloudy, but the word was that that means a lot of eagles would be out.  The thinking is that eagles prefer cloudy weather because they are better able to see the salmon without the harsh reflections.  So off we went.

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And here we’re in our rafts.

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We saw a lot of eagles.  Like 60 or 80 of them.  They were everywhere.  Our guide said it was the most he’s ever seen (yeah, I know).

Here’s a typical scene.

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A mating pair?  The lack of clarity is from the rain 😦

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And a closeup of an eagle looking at us.

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Further on, we came upon a salmon kill and it was mayhem.

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Piracy is a way of life with eagles.  He who catches the fish is not necessarily the one that eats.

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Here are seven birds and one trying to maintain control.  Good luck with that.

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This is a few seconds later.  Check out the bird on the bottom.  Fully vertical, talons ready.  Trying to hold ’em off.

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All in all, it was a great day on the river.  Thanks Chilkat Guides!

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