A Morning with a Feathery Friend
Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Kenlake State Resort Park
The morning of the Eagle Cruise was a chilly morning but it was above freezing, thirty nine degrees to be exact. Even freezing temperatures would not have mattered for this particular cruise though because the CQ Princess is very prepared to keep its passengers warm! Ion my opinion, if there was ever a way to view eagles, from the comfort of an enclosed yacht is the best way possible! Read on for more details about my experience and how you can enjoy a similar experience!
Upon entering the CQ Princess, I was greeted by our hosts the Kentucky Department of Parks, Ladonna Miller and Gil Lawson. There were several members of the media present as well as members of the parks department, Kenlake State Resort, Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. I put on my name tag, was given a pair of binoculars, and with the announcement from Captain Paul Masterson, we were off! Once we made our way out of the ice covered marina heading towards the new Eggners Ferry Bridge and the far side of Kentucky Lake, I already had my binoculars out looking for any sign of our feathery friends.
Our guide for the tour was Jeff Roberts. He works in the Frankfort office of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. As we waited for him and his team to spot the first eagle of the day, he gave us some interesting facts about the bird species such as…
- Kentucky is actually home to a very healthy year round population of eagles, as well as becoming home to a number of northern eagles who migrate further south during the winter months.
- The fact that Kentucky Lake is a manmade lake actually help the eagle species by creating a new habitat for the birds.
- We currently have 157 nesting pairs of eagles in Kentucky.
About this time, we spotted our first pair of eagles. They were perched near the top of the same tree, side by side. Jeff assured us that just because they were next to each other does not mean they were a mating pair, but the hopeless romantic in me could not help but think of the two as love birds sharing a life together. Eagles are often thought to mate for life and that they are committed parents to their young. They both take turns incubating their eggs while the others hunts for food or items to add to the nest. Speaking of nests, not only, did we spot eagles, we also spotted two eagle nests and they are so much bigger than you would realize! The same nests might be used over and over again and big enough for an adult to fit comfortably in. We continued you on our journey spotting eagles in the trees most often, but some in flight, as well as one eating something on the shoreline.
During this trip the Fish and Wildlife team was great at pointing out the eagles and ensuring that everyone might have a chance to spot them. They were also great about answering questions, and participating in interviews with local news channels and other media influencers. Kenlake State Resort Park catered in a yummy lunch menu so that we could snack in between viewing and taking advantage of some pretty awesome photography opportunities. Pretty soon, we found ourselves turning around in Sugar Bay and heading back towards Kenlake Marina. I had spent the first half of my tour downstairs on the main level of CQ Princess, so I decided to meander up the stairs to this beautiful boat’s second level. This level also provided a beautiful view of the Kentucky Lake, the shoreline, and it’s natural inhabitants.
On this tour, the number of eagles spotted was actually pretty low, we were only able to confirm 10 bald eagles. On previous tours that I have attended we have hit the 20 and 30 mark, and just last week, one tour reached nearly 60 eagles! I would recommend this eagle viewing tour for just about anyone. Its a great tour for nature lovers certainly, but I will also recommend using this tour as a date trip with a loved one, a girls getaway trip, parent/child trips, or even something to do alone for some quality “me” time! There are still spots available for the next tours going out of Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Kenlake State Resort. Details on this trip can be found by visiting parks.ky.gov and searching under each respective state park! We are lucky these birds call this place home for it only adds to the beauty that is Kentucky Lake, the South’s Great Lake! Be sure to share your pictures with us by emailing them to email@example.com or share them on our facebook page!
Photos were submitted: Jim Johnson
Marketing Director, Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau