Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bald Eagle Watching in Beauty Bay

Each winter bald eagles congregate around Wolf Lodge Bay to feast on kokanee salmon providing bird watchers with a beautiful aerial fishing event that spans from late November to early January.  I snapped the above photos with my family last week just past Mineral Ridge on Highway 97.  There are several miles of prime eagle viewing along the highway, just be sure to utilize designated parking areas and respect fellow bird watchers and passing motorists.

According to the Idaho Bureau of Land Management, which has been monitoring the migratory bald eagle population since 1974, there were still 157 eagles in the area last week.  However, the number of visiting eagles is expected to steadily decline in the coming days as the eagles continue on their migratory path.  If you haven't already, you might want take a drive this weekend to observe our national bird, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

For the latest weekly eagle count and additional viewing information visit the Idaho BLM Eagle Watch website.

Safety Tips from Idaho BLM:

• 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 if viewing nearby birds.
• Park off the main road.
   Suggested viewing areas: Higgins Point, Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp,
   Mineral Ridge Trail head
• Do not stop on the road or look for eagles while driving.
   Interstate 90 and Highway 97 are heavily traveled.
   Remember, it is illegal to stop in any traffic lane.
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