December 31, 2013 in Idaho, Outdoors

Bald eagle count climbs to 217 at Lake CdA

From staff reports
File photo

The winter gathering of migrating bald eagles peaks in mid-December at Lake Coeur d’Alene.
(Full-size photo)

Reader photos

Upload your photos of the eagles to our reader photo gallery.

The bald eagle count at Lake Coeur d’Alene had climbed to 217 eagles on Monday, according to Carrie Hugo, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist.

Of the 217 eagles, 196 were adults and 21, juveniles, Hugo said in an email.

The numbers are up from Hugo’s last count on Dec. 18, when she found 129 bald eagles in the Wolf Lodge Bay area. That was up from 86 eagles the week before that, according to Hugo’s weekly count.

For decades, the eagles have provided a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on the spawning kokanee that stack up in the bay.

Despite the recent increase, eagle numbers are down from the past few years. The Dec. 18 count of 129 compared with 260 during the same time period last year.

A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.

This map was provided by reader Tim Colquhoun to help people find the best viewing spots to see the eagles.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email