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Coeur d’Alene bald eagle numbers ramping up

Bald eagles perch in a tree at Higgens Point on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Bald eagles perch in a tree at Higgens Point on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The yearly migration of bald eagles to Lake Coeur d’Alene is ramping up.

Last week Bureau of Land Management biologist Carrie Hugo counted 259 eagles, 234 adults and 25 juveniles, plus a “ton of new eagle watchers.”

The number of eagles is down from the same time last year’s cont of 299, said BLM spokeswoman Suzanne Endsley.

Still, “ things are just starting to ramp up on the east side of Lake Coeur d’Alene,” she said in an email.

In 2017, Hugo counted 372 eagles (323 adults and 49 immature), a record number of birds.

The eagles are feasting on spawning Kokanee during their migration south. Their numbers usually peak around the third week of December.

The BLM has conducted a weekly count since 1974. For weekly updates check spokesman.com/outdoors/.

The best places to view eagles are Higgens Point, Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp or the Mineral Ridge Trailhead. Eagle watching cruise boat tours can be booked at the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises website.

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

Last week local photographer and videographer Bob Legasa filmed the bald eagles from Higgens Point. Check it out below.

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