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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Coeur d’Alene bald eagle numbers down, low-hanging clouds possibly stymieing count

A bald eagle looks for fish along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The annual migration of bald eagles has begun, meaning that the south-bound birds are stopping in North Idaho where thousands of spawned-out kokanee provide a source of nutrition for the birds' long trip south. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
A bald eagle looks for fish along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The annual migration of bald eagles has begun, meaning that the south-bound birds are stopping in North Idaho where thousands of spawned-out kokanee provide a source of nutrition for the birds' long trip south. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Biologists spotted 223 bald eagles on Lake Coeur d’Alene Tuesday morning.

A year ago, 367 eagles were spotted. However, it’s likely that low hanging clouds, pierced by sun, made spotting the big birds harder than normal, said Bureau of Land Management spokersperson Suzanne Endsley.

“Don’t despair, there are plenty of eagles to see,” she wrote in an email.

Eagle numbers generally peak during the third week of December. The best places to view the migrating birds as they patrol for spawning kokanee are Higgens Point, Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp or the Mineral Ridge Trailhead.

Stopping along the narrow and curvy Highway 97 is dangerous. Eagle watchers should find a parking area before stopping and exiting their vehicles.

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