Outdoors

Bald eagle numbers dropping at Lake CdA


There is evidence that some of the bald eagles who feed at Lake Coeur d'Alene also make their nests in the Inland Northwest.
 (File / The Spokesman-Review)
There is evidence that some of the bald eagles who feed at Lake Coeur d'Alene also make their nests in the Inland Northwest. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Although plenty of bald eagles are still hanging around, the annual congregation at Lake Coeur d'Alene peaked around Dec.19 and numbers are declining.

Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted 157 bald eagles Thursday in cold, clear weather in the Wolf Lodge area where the eagles gather from November into January to feed on spawning kokanee.

That's down from 183 bald eagles counted Dec. 28during BLM's weekly survey.

This season's high count was 260 bald eagles surveyed on Dec. 19. The count was 204 eagles on Dec. 13, 121 eagles on Dec. 5and 100 eagles counted on Nov. 27.

A record 273 bald eagles was countedat Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

Hugo said she counted 31 immature bald eagles Thursday and126 adults, which have the white heads. Snow in the trees around the lake help camouflage adult eagles, making them more difficult to see – and easier to miss — than on a day with no snow in the trees.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


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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