Swans, snow geese and eagles are among the many species birders flock to view in Mount Vernon and Skagit County.
Trumpeter & Tundra Swans
Skagit Valley’s wintering Trumpeter and Tundra swan population now numbers about 10,000. The adult swan has a wingspan of about five feet. Trumpeters are often accompanied by Tundra swans, a bit smaller and lighter in color with a wingspan of about 4.5 feet. Both the Trumpeter and Tundra swans are sensitive to human intrusion, so please stay in you vehicle while observing them.
Only about half the size of the Trumpeters, snow geese of all ages have black wing tips and a wing span of about three feet. They number about 55,000 birds in Skagit, with many gathering on Fir Island. As with the Trumpeters, we advise viewers to avoid disturbing the flocks by approaching too close. They need to feed undisturbed in order to store up energy for the winter stay and spring migration. If the flock is feeding near a road, please remain in your vehicle. When they are feeding far from the road, use binoculars or a long camera lens to view them without disturbing them.
Raptors of all sorts also frequent Skagit wildlife areas including the 8,000-acre Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area. From early December through January, hundreds of eagles hang out together and feast on carcasses of spawning salmon. Every weekend in January fun educational activities take place upriver at the Skagit Eagle Festival.
Other wildlife seen around Skagit include elk, deer, coyote, otter, sea lion, whale and more. Outfitters are available to get you on the river and in the sound.