UPDATE: Disregard the previous post about a record count of bald eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene. I got the numbers wrong. Updated version below:
WILDLIFE WATCHING — Bald eagles were crowd pleasers at Lake Coeur d'Alene today, although the number of eagles counted in the Wolf Lodge Bay area has declined from last week.
Hundreds of spectators took advantage of Eagle Watch Week to see the baldies congregate to feast on spawning kokanee salmon.
But the number of eagles tallied in the weekly survey was 183, said Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.
That's down from 260 bald eagles counted on Dec. 19. The count was 204 eagles counted on Dec. 13, 121 eagles on Dec. 5 and 100 eagles counted on Nov. 27 — during their annual spectacle.
A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.
Nevertheless, it was a good day for viewing and watching the eagles fish.
“Lots of activity in Wolf Lodge and Beauty Bay,” said Hugo, noting that she counted 140 adult bald eagles (white heads) and 43 imature eagles. “Lots of folks out viewing and photographing. It was a good day.”
Eagle Watch Week runs through Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with eagle experts and spotting scopes available for visitors at the Mineral Ridge boat ramp and trailhead. Take I-90 east of Coeur d'Alene and take the Wolf Lodge exit.
The number of eagles could go up or down in in the coming days, but there will be plenty for spectators to enjoy.