North Idaho Events and Activities
The annual osprey cruise, sponsored by the Natural Resource Committee of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce, is set for 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 11. The community is invited to participate in this one-of-a-kind event on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The tour goes into Cougar Bay on the two story cruise boat Mishn-Nock, courtesy of Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises and Captain Carl Fus.
The osprey is a fish-eating hawk native to local lakes that return in spring every year, often to the same nests with the same mate. At least 100 pair nest annually in the Coeur d'Alene Lake region including the lower reaches of the St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene Rivers. By mid September, the adults and the young of the year birds begin their annual migration all the way to Baja California, or Central or South America.
The Idaho Fish and Game Department has been banding ospreys in Coeur d'Alene Lake for over 20 years, to determine survival and mortality rates and to further define the migration pattern and wintering areas of the population. Birds are momentarily taken from nests just before fledging. A band with a unique number is gently applied to one leg and the 6-7 week old birds are safely returned to the nest.
Would you like to learn more about this bird, common to our area in the summer? How about coming along and watching ospreys being banded?
Mounted bird displays and other exhibits are part of the program.
Wildlife and lake habitat specialists from the Idaho DEQ and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe also participate.
“This may be one of the only places in the world where viewing osprey on their nests from close up on the deck of a lake cruise boat happens for a public cruise,” a press release said. “It is always a treat and often other birds are seen, including cormorants, varieties of ducks, and grebes. Bald eagles often can be spotted from the boat on their nest overlooking the protected bay.”.
Boarding begins at 8:30 a.m. at the east side of the Boardwalk Marina by Tubbs Hill and McEuen Park.
“The cruise is limited to make the experience safe and enjoyable for everyone and good viewing for all, so reservations are essential,” the release said. “Don’t forget your camera, sunscreen, binoculars, sunglasses, and a sun hat.”
Seniors and students: $15.
Children 12 and younger accompanied by a paying adult are free. Family rates are $45 for two adults and three children up to 18 years of age.