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The main observation site is the Hay Meadow, Mt. Lorette Site. The site is located in Kananaskis on the bank of the Kananaskis River. It has a view of the open valley. which allows excellent (though rather distant) viewing of the Fisher Range to the east. The bulk of the Golden Eagles and other raptors use this ridge as part of their preferred migration route.

Mt. Lorette Observations

See the seasonal count reports and daily summaries for historical observation counts. The following observations started in Fall 2021.


Observers: Caroline Lambert, Sandy Graham, Brian McBride

Start Time:

07:45 AM

End Time:

08:00 PM


The temperature ranged from -2 to +7, ending the day at +3

Description of the Day:

Conditions today were perfect for migration (and also not too bad for the observers), which resulted in a steady stream of migrants throughout the day. The clouds were mostly cumulus and stayed at about about 50% coverage for most of the day. Ridge winds were moderate, sufficient to allow most eagles to glide effortlessly along the east ridge, sometimes so high they seemed almost overhead. Most lost quite a bit of altitude over the river, and had to do a bit of soaring to gain some more height at Mt Lorette. Two Golden Eagles seen soaring on the west ridge early in the day were deemed to be residents. Two more were seen soon after that on the west ridge, but after that, all the eagles flew along the east ridge. The clouds diminished a bit toward the end of the day, making ageing more difficult against the blue sky, particularly after the sun disappeared behind clouds on the west side of the valley.

A visitor with two young children was passing by at one point when one eagle was passing beneath a cloud almost overhead. It could just be seen with the naked eye. After pointing it out to the children, one of them then helpfully pointed out a few more eagles following the first one, without using binoculars!

Four people showed up with binoculars late in the day - the two that stayed during the busiest hour were most helpful in spotting more eagles.

Migrant Golden Eagle Count:

215 (128 adult, 8 subadult, 1 juvenile, 78 unknown)

Migrant Other Raptor Count By Species:

2 adult Bald Eagles, 2 Northern Goshawks (1 adult, 1 immature)

Period with Most Migrants:

Two thirds of the eagles were seen between 16:00 and 18:00.

Total Migratory Raptors:


Non-Migrant Raptors:

2 Golden Eagles (adult), one Northern Goshawk (adult)

Other Birds of Note:

4 Canada Geese, 1 Northern Shrike, 10 Common Ravens, 2 Black-capped Chicadees, 3 Mountain Chickadees, 1 American Dipper, 2 European Starlings, 1 American Robin

Number of Visitors: