Photos by Bryan Darnall
About 50 years ago, catching a glimpse of the American Bald Eagle in Kentucky was a cherished and rare occasion. At the time, there were only around 400 pairs in the continental United States, and they were listed as endangered in 1967.
But the regal bird that is the symbol of our country has made a successful comeback. In 2013, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources identified 123 occupied bald eagle territories in 54 Kentucky counties, primarily in the western part of the state.
Nature lovers can get a view of the awe-inspiring raptors when Kentucky State Resort Parks offer Eagle Watch Weekends in January and February. Just don’t forget your binoculars!
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If You Go…
Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, 1-800-325-0146, Jan. 9-10, yacht tours and van tours to the Ballard Wildlife Management Area.
Lake Barkley State Resort Park, 1-800-325-1708, Jan. 23-24, yacht tours and van tours to the Land Between the Lakes.
Kenlake State Resort Park, 1-800-325-0143, Jan. 30, brunch cruise; Feb. 6-7, yacht tours only.
About the Photographer:
A seventh-generation Kentuckian, Bryan Darnall is a lifelong Marshall County resident, who was raised in the community of Sharpe.
Photography has been a part of Bryan’s life since childhood. He served as the photographer for his high school yearbook and has continued the art for more 35 years.
His interests include travel, Appalachian culture, hiking, wildlife and photography.
Once rare in western Kentucky, American Bald Eagles are now a common sight near the large rivers and lakes of the area, according to Bryan. Photographing these exquisite birds has become a passion for him.
Bryan is married to his childhood sweetheart, Gina. Both registered nurses, they live in a log home near Kentucky Lake with their son, Gatlin.