Outdoors blog

Bald eagles taking their time getting to Lake CdA for annual gathering

The bald eagle at right drops a kokanee salmon back into Lake Coeur d’Alene near Higgens Point after the eagle at left began harassing it Wednesday. Birdwatchers and photographers gather along the lake’s eastern arm this time of year to watch the eagles feed on spawned-out kokanee. The birds migrate through the region on their way south each December.  (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
The bald eagle at right drops a kokanee salmon back into Lake Coeur d’Alene near Higgens Point after the eagle at left began harassing it Wednesday. Birdwatchers and photographers gather along the lake’s eastern arm this time of year to watch the eagles feed on spawned-out kokanee. The birds migrate through the region on their way south each December. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING – The annual gathering of bald eagles that feast on spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene is getting off to a slow start.

The eagle count at Wolf Lodge Bay is down by 70 percent from last year at this time, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

Hugo made the first weekly survey of the season on Tuesday and counted only 12 bald eagles compared with 42 counted on the same day last year.

“It could be the storm we just had,” she said. “We’ll be out on the lake Saturday for the special eagle boat cruise for veterans, so we’ll see if the changing weather makes a difference.”

She also points out that 2010 was a record year for the migration: 254 eagles were counted in the bay during the BLM survey on Dec. 21.

The eagles traditionally start gathering in mid November, peaking in numbers during December before the birds start moving on as the fish spawning ends in January.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

Follow Rich online:







Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801