Winter is a great time to visit Festivals, and partake in indoor/outdoor activities. The months of December and January are great to explore the northwestern portion of Washington between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. This area becomes home to many migrating birds, which come into the area in large numbers.
In the Cascade foothills along the Skagit and Nooksak Rivers, bald eagles winter feeding on the salmon runs. Usually, they arrive by the hundreds, and can be seen in large groups. The best time to see them along the rivers in in the morning. They roost in the trees to dry their feathers from hunting the spawning salmon in the river below.
There are many groups that hold festivals or offer information about eagle viewing. The city of Concrete sponsors a month-long festival called the Skagit Eagle Festival held each January. Each weekend, there are numerous activities scheduled, and they all involve eagles. The activities range from photography workshops to Native American dancers and story tellers. River float trips are offered, and the wineries offer special tasting times through-out the month.
The Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center is an excellent place to get information on eagle sightings in the area. It is a non-profit educational center located in Rockport along Highway 20. It's about 15-20 minutes away from Concrete. The center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from December 1st to the end of January. It's a great place to take children.
The Skagit Valley Eagle Watchers are volunteers that share information with visitors. They can be found along the Nooksak River and at mile post 100 along Highway 20. They post weekly eagle counts on their blog.
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