20th annual Eagle Watch set at Lake Coeur d’Alene
OUTFIELD – At least seven dozen bald eagles were congregated in the Wolf Lodge Bay area of Lake Coeur d’Alene this week, and the numbers are likely to increase for the special events of the annual Eagle Watch Week, Dec. 26-Jan. 1.
The eagles have been gathering for decades to feast on kokanee that provide easy meals as they swarm into the area to spawn and die.
For 20 years, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Fish and Game and Audubon Society volunteers have seized the spectacle to help educate young and old about this confluence of nature and survival.
The eagles can be viewed from several areas, including Higgens Point.
The Eagle Watch week activities are set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Mineral Ridge Boat Launch and the Mineral Ridge Trailhead, which are accessible by taking the Wolf Lodge Exit 22 off I-90. Educators will have spotting scopes and information displays.
Weekly eagle counts by Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist, tallied nine eagles on Nov. 22, 64 eagles on Dec. 3, and 89 on Wednesday.
Kokanee numbers have been low the past two years but are up this year, and that could attract more eagles.
A record 156 eagles were counted in December 2004. The highest counts usually occur the week before Christmas.
Parents gain ski skills from Nordic Kids
OUTDO – Young cross-country skiers ages 5-15 aren’t the only ones who benefit from the annual Nordic Kids program at Mount Spokane.
It’s time for families to register for the “learn to ski by having fun” program that runs afternoons on Saturdays in January and February, sponsored by Spokane Nordic Ski Education Foundation
As a bonus, parent volunteers can sign up for a Jan. 9 nordic ski skills clinic at Mount Spokane taught by Methow Valley Ski School professionals.
Costs: $50 for first child in Nordic Kids, $45 for additional kids. $30 for parent ski skills clinic. Family SNSEF membership is $20.
Info: e-mail tliaboe@ hotstart.com or online at spokanenordic.com.