WILDLIFE WATCHING -- Most of the bald eagles have dispersed from Lake Coeur d'Alene's Wolf Lodge Bay.
The annual gathering of eagles to feast on spawning kokanee at the northeast corner of the North Idaho Lake reached more than 260 birds in December, providing a popular wildlife viewing and photography attractions.
This week: "Eagle numbers have dropped off the chart!" reports Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist who just returned from her weekly eagle survey.
"Only five eagles counted today," she said, noting they included four adults and one juvenile. "I am sure there were more as all the snow on the trees hides eagles very well.
"However, there is more ice on Beauty Bay than I have ever seen since counting and Wolf Lodge and Blue Creek Bay are also iced over. So it makes sense that even if there were a few remaining kokanee, getting to them would be difficult.
Last year during this week, Hugo counted 22 adult bald eagles and two juveniles lingering in the Wolf Lodge Bay area.
"There is still some eagle viewing to be had at Higgens Point where the Lake isn't frozen over," she said.