The Eagle Has Landed

Last weekend, I’d read in a local Spokane publication that bald eagles winter in Idaho’s Lake Couer d’Alene in search of spawning Kokanee salmon. Sunday, we drove the short 30 minutes to the area and stopped at Higgins Point where the eagles are known to feed.

Armed with my Lumix camera, our dogs, and wearing warm winter coats on this cold, sunny day, we eagerly joined other eagle-watchers as we hiked along the trail, looking up and around for signs of the eagles.

After 45 minutes of seeing empty skies, we headed back to the main area. Suddenly some onlookers were cheering and clapping and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gorgeous eagle soar just a few feet away, almost at eye-level.

Did I get the coveted close-up shot? Nope.

But I scurried and managed to capture him flying into the trees.

Bald Eagle in flight

Somewhat disappointed, I sat down with my hubby on a nearby park bench and I got the camera ready again. Looking down on the lake, I noticed other people looking up and my hubby said he could see one in the tree.

Sure enough, there he was, king of the lake.

Bald Eagle in the Tree

Looking up again, I saw another eagle soaring, this time the sun shining on his wings. Ever try to catch an eagle in flight with a 600-zoom lens? Dizzying to say the least. But I managed a few more shots.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Did You Know?

The American bald eagle lives in North America including Canada, Alaska, and the contiguous U.S. In the wild, they can live up to 20 years! Their average weight ranges from 6-14 pounds with wingspans ranging from 6 to 7.5 feet.

A local said the kokanee salmon had already run their course for the winter, so our hope of seeing flocks of them feeding was dashed. Although we only saw a total of three eagles, it was three more than I have ever seen with my own eyes.

A good day for looking up!

Joining Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds with long wingspans) and Becky B’s SquaresUp photo challenges.

Bitmoji Birding

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52 thoughts on “The Eagle Has Landed

  1. Great photos. Yeah, it’s pretty neat to see eagles. We have seen them near us in Central Texas on both the Texas Vanishing Cruise (Eagle cruise) up the Colorado River and nesting near Highway 29 near the Buchanan Dam. Check out those links for many eagle photos. I probably captured some shots, but will have to look through my photos. For a long time, the same nesting pair kept coming each year along the Llano River (where we had seen them off Hwy 29), but I think the old tree they used had become rotten several years ago and collapsed so they had to find a new spot; apparently they now go near the Buchanan Dam Inks Lake Visitor Center.

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  2. Pingback: Bird Weekly Round-Up – Week #29 – Our Eyes Open

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  4. I’m glad you got to see an eagle, Terri. I guess you’ll go back to the Lake again and see if you can capture some more photos of them? Great to see you exploring your new home already. I’m looking forward to seeing your photography over the coming 12 months. Keep looking up!

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    1. It was a wonderful experience and such a nice day to be outside (in my new winter coat), Hugh. Our new home is very close to a river and I’m told eagles are seen in the neighborhood! We got to see the inside of the house for the first time, still under construction but we are pleased. Thanks so much!

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  5. Amazing shots, Terri! Birds are so difficult to capture in flight. If you can find them through the zoom finder first. 🙂 These birds are just majestic and we are in awe every time we spot them. I forget that Spokane is so close to Idaho. Your move is paying off already!!

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  6. So glad you went out birding and came back with the target species you were looking for. Sometimes just sitting and waiting helps. Fabulous images, pity your camera wasn’t playing along but next time for sure 🙂 🙂

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  7. Your pictures are outstanding. Bald eagles winter in the Thousand Spring for the remains from the several fish hatchery nearby.
    When were hosts at Thousands Spring State Park we watch a pair of Red-tailed hawk raise their young. When the young were ready to fledge the parent brought snakes and drop them near the fledglings.
    Along, the high ways you will large poles with a nest on top. Usually, they are osprey nesting. The hawks will not select power to nest.

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  8. Beautiful captures Terri! I’m so glad you got to see some eagles; they are so majestic! 🙂 We’re fortunate to have them nearby over Lake Washington and it’s always a thrill to see them soaring overhead. I hope to see more of them later this week on the Skagit River north of Seattle where they come down to feed on the salmon.

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  9. Absolutely amazing. You captured the eagles splendidly, Terri. I am fortunate that I spent 2 summers in Southeast Alaska (1984 and 1988). Those are the only 2 times I have seen bald eagles in my lifetime! 🦅😀

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  10. Terri,
    Congratulations! Timing is everything and it appears you timed this one well. I’ve seen a few in my lifetime. They are beginning to linger in Tennessee, thanks to Dolly Parton who established a rescue and re-entry program here. Again, good work–we soared because you shared! Joe

    Liked by 1 person

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