10 Best Locations to Spot Eagles on Vancouver Island

It was in the bustling heart of London, where history kisses the ground and neon lights paint the night, where friends circle the pubs warming the heart and caressing the liver; that I lived in my 20s. I was certainly a spirited woman – traveling around Europe,  learning languages, discovering mesmerizing architecture and history during the day, and dancing the nights away, with an insatiable wanderlust.

While my friends were settling down and having families, I was dreaming of adventures that would expand my world. My heart beat to the rhythm of distant lands and uncharted territories, yearning to explore beyond the familiar concrete jungle.

One crisp summer’s evening in 2004, amidst the buzz of city living, I made a decision that would change my life. Armed with little more than a backpack and a heart full of dreams, I boarded a westbound plane, leaving behind the cacophony of the city and many cherished friendships, for the promise of new adventures in Canada.

Before I left, I had an encounter with an indigenous shaman who was travelling through the town of Richmond, UK where I was living.

Did you know – Richmond is where Never Never land was filmed featuring Johnny Depp?

I remember warmly the moment, my colleague and I, handed Johnny Depp some swag from the spa we worked in, which was positioned next to the house the movie was filmed in, Johnny’s twinkling eyes awkwardly thanking us…
I digress, back to the prophecy.

And he, the shaman (not Johnny Depp), who had come by the spa on a number of occasions to pick up some herbs, left me with this prophecy: ‘I had a vision of you- I see you sitting on a cliff top, soaring with the eagles.’ It certainly sounded random and rather dubious.

As a friend of one of John Le Carre’s advisors and finding myself integrated into the M16 network through my dad, I could be forgiven for believing the prophecy was a metaphor.

When I got the the airport, I was the lucky recipient of a complimentary upgraded to business class, a good omen to be sure. The plane glided over valleys and rugged mountains, I marvelled at the changing scenery. Towering forests gave way to rugged cliffs that plunged into the cerulean embrace of the Pacific Ocean. The air tasted of salt and freedom, and my soul stirred with anticipation.

Arriving in this new territory, I felt a pang of uncertainty. The laid-back pace and small-town charm were a stark contrast to the relentless energy of the city I left behind. Yet, beneath my apprehension, lay an undeniable curiosity.

I bought myself a third-hand jeep, peeled back the top, and explored relentlessly, sometimes with nomadic bon vivants I met along the way, and sometimes solo.

Days turned into weeks as I settled into my new life. Each dawn brought a new canvas over the ‘Sea to Sky highway’ and between the snow capped mountains, and the ocean breeze, I found myself captivated by the raw beauty of nature. And so, with each passing day, my love for the Pacific Northwest grew, the sense of space and freedom was exhilarating.

Eagles started to make their way into my life in different forms, from eagle bracelets gifted to me as a corporate Christmas present, eagle paintings gifted to me by friends, random quizz nights where I answered correctly questions like ‘what is the wing span of an eagle?”, and finding myself, at one point, living next to an Eagle Meditation Labyrinth, I never forgot the prophecy.

And yet, it wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver Island, an island off the West Coast of Vancouver, that the prophecy really took form.

Last year, I purchased a home high on a ridge, and it wasn’t before long that eagles were flying right past my window.

In the last few months, since moving here I have often stood in awe, with the prophecy running through my mind, warming my heart and giving me strength when I feel homesick – perhaps a reminder that some of us are born to rise in our own way, and blaze a trail that fits our unique inclinations; or perhaps a symbol of courage and curiosity – strengths that bring us the freedom we seek.


Vancouver Island offers several excellent spots for eagle watching due to its diverse habitats and abundance of food sources for these majestic birds. Here are some top places to see eagles on Vancouver Island:

1. Goldstream Provincial Park: Located near Victoria, Goldstream Park is known for its annual salmon run, which attracts eagles feeding on the fish. The best time to see eagles here is typically in the fall.

2. Campbell River: This area is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” making it a prime location for eagle watching, especially during the salmon spawning season in late summer and fall.

3. Courtenay/Comox Estuary: The estuary area near these towns provides rich feeding grounds for eagles, particularly during the winter months when they gather in large numbers to feed on fish and waterfowl.

4. Hornby Island: Located off the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, Hornby Island is home to a large eagle population. Boat tours around the island often include eagle watching opportunities.

5. Port Hardy and Telegraph Cove: These northern locations on Vancouver Island offer great eagle viewing opportunities, especially during the winter when eagles congregate near the abundant fishing grounds.

6. Cowichan Valley: The Cowichan River and estuary are frequented by eagles, particularly during the salmon runs. The area around Duncan and Cowichan Bay is particularly good for eagle watching.

7. Victoria Harbour: Eagles can often be spotted around Victoria Harbour, especially in the winter months when they hunt for fish near the shoreline.

Remember, the best times for eagle watching can vary depending on the location and the specific behaviors of the eagles, such as during salmon runs or other times of abundant food sources. Wildlife tours or local birdwatching groups can provide additional guidance and opportunities for observing these magnificent birds in their natural habitat.


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“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

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