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2024 Spring Count


The Spring 2024 Migration Count runs from March 6 to April 22 with observers at the Mount Lorette site daily. If interested in visiting the site we suggest that you visit after 3pm. We see the majority of migrating eagles later in the afternoon. This is the 32rd year of vigilant recording. Observation map. Thank you to the observers and count coordinators.

See the Spring Count 2024 Daily Summaries

In Memorial: Claire Bourret


Claire Bourret (1951 – 2023)

Claire Bourret was the treasurer of the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation (RMERF) for over 20 years and was a highly competent and effective steward of the Foundation’s finances. Her annual financial reports were always on time and straightforward, and Claire worked hard to raise funds for observation and research activities. She made sure the charity casinos were always well staffed, and even when in hospital in early 2023, Claire still recruited volunteers for the next upcoming RMERF casino. But Claire did so much more:

Although she was not a field person and rarely went to the observation site at Hay Meadow, she was fascinated by the migrating eagles and raptors. Her enthusiasm was infectious and made her an outstanding educator and outreach coordinator. Claire made sure the RMERF had a well-equipped and volunteer-staffed RMERF booth at various events around the Calgary area, such as the Calgary Mayor’s Environment Expo at City Hall, Provincial Park Days, the Canmore Folk Festival and the Open House at the Barrier Lake Field Station. To make these events hands-on, she assembled educational materials, such as handouts, teaching games for kids, and a giant map of North America to show the routes of the migrating eagles. The satellite-tracked eagle “Elaine” was a special favourite of hers and Claire related so well to kids and passed on her enthusiasm for the eagles and for nature in general.

Claire also made sure that we celebrated the RMERF’s ongoing success. She organized and managed well attended 20th and 30th anniversary celebrations which included interesting speakers, field trips, delicious food, and a lot of socializing. She understood very well that field observations and research activities alone do not make a community but that it was the social events, such as the Annual RMERF BBQ (and cricket game) that brought people together. She made sure there was plenty of food and drinks available, and whatever the event, including the board meetings, Claire brought some home baked goodies, usually delicious muffins. She was usually assisted by her patient and loving husband Joe.

“She always gave 100 precent, sometimes even more” as a founding member of the RMERF said, and the RMERF is deeply grateful to Claire for her hard work and the many contributions she made to the Foundation and its objectives.

May she soar with the eagles.

Spring Count 2023


The Spring 2023 Migration Count has commenced and runs from Mar 1st to Apr 22nd with observers at the Mount Lorette site daily — including viewing equipment available to the public. If interested in visiting the site, we suggest that you visit after 3pm. We see the majority of the migrating eagles in the later afternoon. This is the 31st consecutive year of vigilant recording. Mount Lorette site, Observation map.

See the Spring Count 2023 Daily Summaries

RMERF in the News


Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation reaches milestone in annual eagle count (March 17, 2022)

Dozens of volunteers spend their spring and fall in Kananaskis Country peering through binoculars and other telescopic lenses, searching the sky for migrating eagles.

The migration route runs north from the United States along the Rocky Mountains, all the way up to the Yukon. It was discovered by chance in 1992 by Des Allen and Peter Sherrington. It became known as the ‘Eagle Highway.’

Strong updrafts are created in the area by the mountains and prevailing wind that mean the eagles don’t have to expend much energy to travel vast distances.

Read more


Golden eagle migration count (Calgary Eyeopener, March 18, 2022)

Interview on the Calgary Eyeopener with David Gray and Angela Knight.

Listen to the interview

Adopt an Observer


Donate to Adopt an Observer

The eyes and recorders of RMERF are the Principal and Assistant Observers.

Your support of the ADOPT AN OBSERVER program will help RMERF to fund Principal and Assistant Observers yearly expenses related to the semi-annual Golden Eagle and other raptors migration watches.

The overall purpose of these dedicated Observers, during Spring and Fall migration seasons, sunrise to sunset for the 8 weeks periods, is to survey, monitor and record the observed migrating Golden Eagles and other raptors and associated weather factors.  Observers, as a public arm of RMERF at the bird watch site, also help educate the general public on bird identification and sightings, in addition to noting environmental changes and challenges that potentially impact raptor migration and populations.

The individual Principal and Assistant Observers are people of all ages, and come from various backgrounds and birding knowledge. They spend up to 14 hours per day, regardless of weather, at the outside watch site counting and making critical observations of Golden Eagles and other raptors as they migrate along the Rocky Mountains in both Spring and Fall.  The Observers have tremendous and unique opportunities to learn about raptors by watching, and to teach others.

Without the ADOPT AN OBSERVER program, RMERF will miss over 700 hours seasonally of raptor observation, and have a gap in recorded data for the first time in over 30 years!  In these ever changing climate conditions, the migration counts are more important than ever.  To prevent the erosion of the value of one of the longest migration counts in Canada, RMERF seeks an on-going and sustainable funding source to help compensate the RMERF Observers for their many hours of passionate and experienced work.

Your donations will ensure the present and future scientific environmental recording, as well as providing an accessible and educational site for schools, groups, and the general public to participate in this long-term community science work.  This program also enables the many participants to see in amazement the seasonal flights of thousands of Golden Eagles and other birds of prey.

All donations will receive a tax receipt.  Please donate a minimum of $150., by a one-time donation or monthly contributions, in recognizing our local raptor watching Observers.  For as little as 40 cents per day, you can help RMERF continue this critical work.

Donate Now to Adopt an Observer



The Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation (RMERF), a non-profit scientific research organization, conducts twice annually 8 weeks long daily migration counts of Golden Eagles and other birds of prey at various Alberta and western Canada locations.  The on-going main watch site is in the Kananaskis Valley area west of Calgary.

Since 1992, this monitoring of the bird population and migratory patterns, specific to Golden Eagles, by RMERF has been integral in the understanding of the migration phenomenon, and has identified environmental threats to the well-being of raptors and their habitats, also the outcomes of natural or man-made changes.

The RMERF Story (Video)


Watch the full video here.

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