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CdA bald eagles are visitor attraction

Bald eagles continue to congregate at Lake Coeur d’Alene for their annual feast of kokanee spawning in Wolf Lodge Bay, with counts of more than 80 birds last week.

The annual birding spectacle has become a prized attraction for people visiting the Inland Northwest.

Since 1994, about 50,000 people have come to watch eagles during these 12 weeks of viewing. Although 70 percent of eagle watchers have come from within a three-hour drive of the lake, the other 30 percent have come from all 50 states and 36 foreign countries, according to surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Wind and rain this week improved the eagle viewing conditions by erasing snow from the trees where eagles perch. The best way to spot a mature eagle (older than three years) is to look for the white head against the dark backdrop of the forest along the shoreline.

Drive east from Coeur d’Alene on Interstate 90 and take Wolf Lodge Exit 22 to reach good eagle viewing spots around the bay.