San Juan Island sea kayak wildlife update:

Lately Blake and I, along with our guests, have been seeing a large number of Bald Eagles out on the west side. Some of these eagles remain here year round, with others migrating seasonally. This month we're seeing the eagles population increase in preparation for the bountiful summer months.

When food is plentiful, you can often see 8 or more individuals crowding around a seal carcass, but other times one adult will eat while its mate stands guard. This large apex predator will dominate just about any other animal hoping for a bite. Although sea eagles, these birds are opportunistic, and will eat just about anything-- from rabbits to roadkill and salmon to sea gulls.

Soon we'll start seeing these eagles spend more time in the nest, taking turns incubating their few eggs for the month until hatching. From there it'll be another 3 months or so before these fledglings will take wing themselves. While they are independent for the first few years of their lives, once they mature at age 4 or 5, they'll grow that beautiful white head and tail and look for a mate. It is believed that they often return to the area in which they were born.

We have quite a healthy Bald Eagle population here on these islands, and we look forward to enjoying their sight for years to come!