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Friday, December 6, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Bald eagles returning to Lake Coeur d’Alene

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

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The annual congregation of bald eagles at Lake Coeur d'Alene has begun.  The eagles also are showing up to feed on spawning kokanee at Priest Lake and Lake Pend Oreille, but the birds that return to Coeur d'Alene's Wolf Lodge Bay are notably accessible for viewing.

Here's the first report of the season on the weekly bald eagle count at Coeur d'Alene filed Friday by BLM wildlife biologist Carrie Hugo:

Boy if anyone has asked me last week what I thought I would find on the first eagle count this week I would have responded with a resounding "zero"!  And boy would I have been wrong!!!  Only one year since counting began has this number been as higher!  That was in 2012.

The count today was 40 adults and 12 immature with lots of activity and eagles spread fairly well throughout the viewing area.  The one exception to this was Blue Creek Bay, no eagles there yet.

This bodes well for the eagle viewing season and for our veterans cruise December 5th!  One other cool thing to note was an immature eagle in Beauty Bay that had a lot of white plumage.  All immature eagles will have some white on the body and flanks, especially as they get closer to maturity, but this one just stood out because it was so light in color.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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