WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The number of bald eagles is thinning out at Lake Coeur d'Alene's Wolf Lodge Bay area where the national symbols gather each year to feast on spawning kokanee.
After peaking at 217 two weeks ago, the number of eagles counted today by U.S. Bureau of Land Management biologist Carrie Hugo dropped to 53 -- that's 51 adults and 2 juveniles.
The eagles came later than normal this year and stayed in large numbers longer than in the past, perhaps because many of them had been taking advantage of the revived kokanee fishery in Lake Pend Oreille.
- See more on the Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene eagle gatherings.
"Chances are the number of eagles (at Lake Coeur d'Alene) is slightly higher than my count reflects today," Hugo said, noting that she spotted at least 20 soaring eagles but does not include flying birds in her surveys.
"Having said that, the numbers should continue to decline rapidly from here," she said, adding that no more surveys would be conducted until the birds should begin returning again in November.
"It was another good year with a few surprises in the numbers! We might have to find someone to monitor Lake Pend Oreille next year!"
SHARE YOUR EAGLE PHOTOS
The Spokesman-Review has set up a web page where readers can upload some of the great images they're snapping of eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene. Check it out, especially Tim Colquhoun's map of the best eagle viewing areas at the northeast end of the lake.