In Kentucky, bald eagles usually lay eggs during January-March, but will begin nest building and repair as early as October. Young usually fledge (leave the nest) April-July.
During the nesting season, the following information is gathered, where possible:
These criteria are used regionally and nationally to measure productivity trends and are reported annually by each state to the USFWS.
In 2010, 84 occupied bald eagle territories were documented in 36 counties of Kentucky!
Tracking Kentucky’s eagle population takes a tremendous amount of effort and would not be possible without the cooperation of several federal and state agencies, universities, private organizations, volunteers, and landowners. Their continued support is most appreciated.
Where can I find more information on bald eagles?
Information on life history (diet, lifespan, etc.) can be found at the USFWS eagle website:
How common is it to see a bald eagle in Kentucky?
Sightings of migrating and wintering eagles in Kentucky are becoming increasingly widespread. Bald eagles can be seen just about anywhere in Kentucky during the migration and winter season (September-March). Nonetheless, seeing a bald eagle is exciting every time!
Where are the best places to go to see a bald eagle in Kentucky?
The best time to go eagle-watching in Kentucky is the winter, when eagles gather in large numbers at areas with open water to fish. You’re likely to spot an eagle on a boat trip or hiking trip to any large reservoir or river in December-March. Look for them perched in trees on the lake or river edge, or watch for them soaring above the water. The Land Between the Lakes Area is a winter hot spot for eagles. Kentucky State Parks, in cooperation with KDFWR and the US Army Corps of Engineers hold Eagle Watch events at several state parks in western KY each January and February. These trips are a great way to view lots of eagles. More information on eagle watch weekends can be found at the Kentucky State Parks website at:
I think I saw a bald eagle. Where can I find more information on identification?
Please visit KDFWR’s bald eagle identification page:
More information on bald eagle identification can be found at the following links.
The United States Geological Survey bald eagle website:
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds website:
I saw a bald eagle! Who should I report this information to?
KDFWR tracks the location and productivity of all bald eagle nests in Kentucky. New nests are found every year. If you think you have discovered a new nest, please call our information number (1-800-858-1549) to report it. If a pair of adult bald eagles is seen in a local area for an extended period of time during the nesting season, there may be a nest nearby. Please let us know if you suspect bald eagle nesting activity in your area.
Sightings of migrating and wintering eagles in Kentucky are becoming more and more widespread. Bald eagles can be seen just about anywhere in Kentucky during the migration and winter season (September-March). Carrion provides a good winter food source for eagles, away from open water. Sightings of wintering and migrating eagles do not need to be reported to KDFWR, unless nesting is suspected.
Do golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) occur in Kentucky?
Though uncommon in comparison to the bald eagle, golden eagles do migrate through and winter in Kentucky. There are no confirmed records of golden eagles nesting in Kentucky.