Where ever I travel, the sight of a large bird of prey in flight makes me (and most everyone else around) stop and watch. That's certainly true for the American Bald Eagle.
Every year between mid-November and mid-January there's a migration of bald eagles to Lake Couer d’Alene in the Idaho panhandle. While a few dozen eagles live on the lake year round, most are transient opportunists from northern Idaho and the Canadian Rockies, and they can number in the hundreds. The eagles come to feast on the land-locked kokanee salmon which swim into the bays and creeks surrounding the lake where they spawn and die. These fish tend to be small (about a half kg or so), perfect size for an eagle to scoop from the water with its two inch talons while in flight, and there’s plenty of fish around. The winter climate on the Lake is mild and the surrounding hills provide plenty of large trees for perch and rest (eagles often have preferred trees and even specific limbs to which they like to return).
Female bald eagles are slightly larger than males and the pairs mate for life. Adults weigh around 5 kg, are a meter tall and have a wingspan of more than 2 m. Their powerful wings can propel them up to 750 km/day. Adults having a distinctive white head and tail feathers; juvenile birds under age four have a uniform dark brown color.
I never tire of watching these birds!