11/13/2014 10:12 EST | Updated 01/13/2015 05:59 EST

Bald eagles descend on southwestern B.C. for salmon, overwintering

Thousands of bald eagles are expected to return to the Fraser Valley this year to feast on salmon along the banks of the Harrison River.

Eagles that had been living in northern B.C., Alaska, and Yukon have started arriving for the winter.

Biologist and conservationist David Hancock runs the Hancock Wildlife Foundation and keeps a close eye on the eagle counts each year.

"They're probably going to be arriving, anywhere from a hundred to five hundred a day. By the end of this month, we hope to have five to eight thousand of them," he said.

Harrison River is higher than usual for this time of year and river levels are expected to recede in the coming days, allowing eagles easier access to feed on the returning salmon.

Crowds of people are expected to converge on the area for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival on Nov. 15 and 16.

Meanwhile, wintering bald eagles have started arriving in other parts of B.C. as well. Some were captured on camera by CBC readers.

On mobile? Click here for a photogallery of bald eagles in B.C.