Born to be Wild

Ospreys and moose and bald eagles, oh my!

By Paige Chvilicek

Chelan County PUD Summer Intern


I have lived in the valley my entire life, seeing deer, ducks and geese often. However, there is some amazing wildlife in Chelan County that you and I may have never seen.

Chelan PUD Wildlife Biologist Kelly Cordell called in from the field and shared some information about local wildlife that shows what a wild kingdom we have here.

“We are blessed to live in an area that is chock-full of wildlife,” Cordell said. “In all four seasons, if you put enough time in at getting outdoors, you would be surprised at how much wildlife you’re able to see.”

Get a birds-eye view

For instance, did you know there are many osprey the PUD monitors through the season? From the river, you can see – and hear – adult osprey calling to teach other, hunting, and teaching the young how to survive. There are about 100 territories monitored by Chelan PUD biologists, and over 30 platforms provided for osprey to safely nest.


Moose on the loose

Moose have big home ranges, and the population is growing in Washington state. Remember when a moose took a promenade thorough Wenatchee in mid-August 2019? Cordell said we’ll continue to see more moose as they move through this fall.

However, moose can be very aggressive so keep your distance and watch from far away. Let them move through the area without bothering them, because they can be dangerous.


Look for tracks

You also can see raccoons and skunks out-and-about year round, and if you don’t see them directly, a lot of the time if you’re near the shoreline you can look down and see their tracks.

Bald eagles and golden eagles are around here too! You can see bald eagles along the PUD reservoirs and golden eagles up along the cliffs. They are harder to spot so you have to concentrate.


The hills are alive
Bighorn sheep also are on the move. You can even see them in the hills above the Rocky Reach Discovery Center and along the highway on the way to Chelan. During breeding season in the fall, they can be seen butting heads so please keep a safe distance.


Wildlife Dos and Don’ts


  • Observe from a distance.
  • Give ducks, geese, and gulls a favor and make them work hard for their food.
  • Go out early in the day to view wildlife.
  • Respect the animal’s space.
  • Bring a good pair of binoculars when it comes to spying wildlife from the river.


  • Feed ducks, geese, and gulls in the park.
  • Use drones to spot wildlife.
  • Rev boat motors and make a lot of waves or noise when trying to view wildlife from the Columbia River or Lake Chelan.
  • Disturb the animal’s natural habitat.
  • Expect to see much wildlife on noisy parts of the river. They like it quiet with less boat traffic.
  • Be scared of wildlife. If you feel you’re in danger, quickly back off and leave.
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