The Early Birds

ANDY CLARK / REUTERS

On a single day in 1994, volunteer bird watchers tallied nearly 3,770 bald eagles in the skies over Brackendale, British Columbia. Ever since then, this small Canadian town has rejoiced in the[an error occurred while processing this directive] title of "bald-eagle capital of the world." Why Brackendale, you might ask? The answer is to be found in the annual spawning of chum salmon, which turns the nearby Squamish River into a floating buffet that North America's iconic raptors find irresistible. Spawning season runs from mid-November to mid-February, and the best way to get close to the eagles swooping in on their prey is to join...

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