COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – A record number of bald eagles are soaring through the sky above Lake Coeur d’Alene for their annual gathering to feed on Kokanee Salmon.
The number of eagles that return to the area varies from year to year, but so far 2017 has brought a record 314 eagles. According to a survey by Carrie Hugo, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, this is the highest number of eagles since they started counting back in 1974.
“I am really enjoying getting them when they are just making the snatch in the water grabbing the fish,” said photographer Terry Honyoust. "You can get those all day everyday up here.”
The eagles migrate to Lake Coeur d’Alene between November and February in search of the spawning Kokanee Salmon. As the fish reach the end of their life cycle, they become the perfect feast for the birds.
Popular places to view the eagles are Higgens Point, Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp, Mineral Ridge Trailhead, and Wolf Lodge Bay.
Safety/Viewing Tips from the Bureau of Land Management:
- Avoid disturbing the birds. Do not approach them on foot.
- Stay as far away from the birds as possible. Binoculars are essential.
- Stay in your vehicle in viewing nearby birds.
- Park off the main road.
- Do not stop on the road or look for eagles while driving.