Outdoors blog

Bald eagles finally flocking to Lake CdA for annual feast


Bald eagles, such as this one snatching a spawning kokanee from Lake Coeur d'Alene, are popular winter birdwatching attractions. But eagles will be only one of dozens of species birders expect to identify during upcoming Christmas Bird Counts. 
 (Photo by Tom Munson / The Spokesman-Review)
Bald eagles, such as this one snatching a spawning kokanee from Lake Coeur d'Alene, are popular winter birdwatching attractions. But eagles will be only one of dozens of species birders expect to identify during upcoming Christmas Bird Counts. (Photo by Tom Munson / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING – A week can make a big difference in the numbers of bald eagles gathering for their annual feast of spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene.

On Tuesday, the season's second weekly eagle count at Wolf Lodge Bay tallied a whopping 76 bald eagles, said BLM wildlife biologist Carrie Hugo. That compares with 64 eagles counted on the same date last year.

That's exciting news for birdwatchers, considering that 2010 was a record year for the migration, with a peak of 254 eagles counted in the bay during the BLM survey on Dec. 21. 

Tuesday's count indicated a big swing in eagle movements. The first survey of the season on Nov. 22 found only 12 bald eagles compared with 42 counted on the same day in 2010.

Top viewing areas are from Higgens Point as well as south from the Wolf Lodge Exit off I-90 on Highway 97 around to Beauty Bay.

  • Read more details tomorrow in my Thursday Outdoors column regarding eagles and how they might be be linked to the numbers of kokanee in the region's lakes.



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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.

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