Cary Tichenor, Chief Naturalist of Kentucky State Parks conducted a portion of the tour, noting many of the birds travel from colder climates around the Great Lakes to the area along the Mississippi River.
“As their lakes freeze over, they travel south in search of food,” said Tichenor. “They are opportunistic predators, though their primary diet comes from baitfish. It is not uncommon to see them eating American loons.”
Tichenor noted that eagles express a preference for many of the same conditions that visitors to the lakes enjoy. “On dreary days, they perch on limbs. On pleasant days they are more active and fly around. Eagles find columns of warm air called ‘thermals’ and can ride them long distances. They like the same roosting sites and prefer to perch in the same places and may even have a favorite branch in a tree. They leave their roosting sites to go into different bays to feed.”
All area state parks plan to conduct Eagle Watch Weekends in January and February. Kentucky Dam Village’s weekend falls on January 18-20, Lake Barkley’s on January 25-27 and Kenlake on February 1-3.
All three parks will have tours available by van, or aboard the 100-foot, climate controlled “CQ Princess,” for the comfort of eagle watchers. Prices range from $20 to $50. Call the appropriate state park for reservations.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.