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Fifty-five bald eagles counted in first Coeur d’Alene survey of the year

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 17, 2018

A bald eagle looks for fish along the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene in December  2017.  The birds will increase throughout December, peaking around New Year’s Day. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
A bald eagle looks for fish along the shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene in December 2017. The birds will increase throughout December, peaking around New Year’s Day. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s eagle time.

Carrie Hugo, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted 55 bald eagles Tuesday. It was her first annual count of the iconic bird on Coeur d’Alene lake this season.

Hugo counted 47 adults and eight juvenile birds, according to a BLM news release. At this time last year, Hugo had counted 37 eagles.

“Yeah, we’re ahead of the game,” said Suzanne Endsley a spokeswoman for the Coeur d’Alene BLM office.

The 372 eagles counted in late 2017 set a record. The previous record of 273 was set on Dec. 29, 2011.

Hugo will conduct weekly counts on Tuesday (weather depending) through January.

BLM’s annual Veteran’s eagle cruise is scheduled for Dec. 1. Registration opens Friday.

Annually, the eagles flock to the Wolf Lodge Bay area to hunt for spawning kokanee.

Good eagle viewing points around Wolf Lodge Bay include Higgens Point and turnouts off Highway 97, including Mineral Ridge.

Eagle watching cruise boat tours can be booked at the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises website.

Normally, the eagle population peaks around the third week of December.

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