WILDLIFE WATCHING -- The 26th annual Eagle Watch Week sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Idaho Fish and Game is set for Dec. 27-31 based out of the Mineral Ridge boat launch and the Mineral Ridge trailhead parking areas along the northeastern shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The event is keyed to the holiday break and the peak of the kokanee spawning that lures bald eagles to Wolf Lodge Bay.
BLM wildlife biologist Carrie Hugo counted a near-record 261 bald eagles in the area on Thursday, indicating the eagles are figuring out that the kokanee they love to eat are spawning in the highest numbers in 20 years.
- A record 273 bald eagles was counted at Lake Coeur d'Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.
- See this blog post for tips on CdA eagle viewing areas.
Each day during Eagle Watch Week, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., ( event ends at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31) the two Mineral Ridge parking areas will be the hub of activity. High-power spotting scopes will be set up in these prime eagle viewing spots, along with interpretive displays.
Eagle “ambassadors” will be at the sites each day to show mounted birds and answer questions regarding the lifeways and habitat of bald eagles, our national symbol.
Eagle watching visitors must use designated parking areas. Parking is not allowed along Highway 97.
For rare cases when severe weather does not permit setting up equipment or staffing the viewing sites, the BLM has set up an “Eagle Watch Hotline” with daily status update during Eagle Watch Week: Call (208) 769-5048 after 9 a.m.