Chilkat Eagles Trip Report 2023 - Tom Bol Photo Workshops

The Chilkat Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska has the largest gathering of bald eagles in the world. More than 3000 eagles come together to feed on a late Chum Salmon run in the Chilkat River. We photograph natural eagle behavior in a beautiful location on this workshop.

Ned and Sherry are all smiles on the Chilkat Riber
The eagle we called Scarface, at eye level
Dave capturing birds in flight

Chillkat is a great destination to capture eagles in flight. Eagles fly down the river corridor looking to steal salmon from other eagles. At the end of the day, the light on the river can reflect golden hues if the sun is out. It makes the perfect background for flying eagles.

Linda working the southern end of the preserve
Screaming bald eagles can be heard all over the preserve
Carolyn working the flight sequences

With 3000 eagles on the preserve, there are bound to be disputes over salmon. Our groups focused on eagles feeding near the shore, and waited for others to fly in and attempt to steal their catch. This made for some very exciting action sequences.

Coming in for the steal
John was all about the eagle action shots
Eagle triad fighting over fish

Not only is this the largest gathering of eagles, it is also the most scenic. Beautiful 6000 ft, snow capped peaks surround the eagle preserve and add a stunning backdrop to eagles in flight. Yes, those are glaciers on the mountains.

Moonset over the Chilkat River
Beautiful backdrops after a full night of snow
The view from our hotel in Haines, Alaska

One of our groups was lucky enough to get overnight snow. This transformed the river bar into a winter wonderland. Overall the temperatures were warmer than in previous years.

Joan dressed for the weather
Angie carrying her wildlife lens on her Sony A1

In addition to Bald Eagles, we photographed Chesnut-backed Chickadees, Trumpeter Swans, American Dippers, a Downy Woodpecker, Stellar Jays, Glaucous-wing Guls, Red-Breasted Mergansers, Common Ravens and an occasional mammal.

Mergansers coming in for a landing in golden light
Downy Woodpecker near the river
More than just birds in the area

If you love Bald Eagles and want to photograph them in their natural environment, there is no better place than the Chilkat Eagle Preserve. We are headed back in 2026.

Our first group at the Haines Ferry Dock
Our second group taking in a striking landscape

Thanks to our two wonderful group of photographers for joining us in Chilkat in 2023!

Interested in joining us in 2026? Join the Interest List by clicking right here


Eagle totem in Haines, Alaska