Seasonal Movements of Bald Eagles
During November, the land-locked kokanee salmon in Coeur d’Alene Lake begin to spawn along the shallow waters of the lake. After the fish spawn, they die and float to the surface of the water, creating an abundant food source for the migrating eagles, particularly in Wolf Lodge Bay. The eagles, lured by the spawning fish, are sustained by this plentiful supply of spawned-out kokanee.
Bald eagles begin arriving in the Coeur d'Alene area in late November with numbers increasing through mid- to late-December. The number of eagles fluctuates based on the number of dead and dying kokanee. By the first week in January the number of spawning salmon declines and most of the eagles have dispersed. Only a few eagles remain in the area through portions of January and February as most have departed for more southerly destinations along their migration route before returning to their traditional nesting sites. Eagles do not nest at Wolf Lodge Bay but there are nesting sites in other parts of northern Idaho. The number of eagles observed from year to year varies from 10 to 156, with an average of 54.