Bald eagle watching in the Heartland

Bald eagle watching in the Heartland
By: Erica Byfield

KENTUCKY LAKE, Ky. - Bald eagles are a status symbol in the United States; they represent the land of the free. Believe it or not during the winter months the Heartland is one of the best spots in America to see the national bird.  On Monday Erica Byfield went on a sight seeing tour a counted at least 20.

You could call it a combination effect. Its winter, I'm on Kentucky Lake, and there's a crowd of people on this boat with binoculars, all of us bending our necks...eyes on the sky.

It's eagle watch season.
"It's always impressive; I never get tried of seeing them their pretty much the most majestic raptor we get a chance to see around here especially during the winter months," said Naturalist Jenny Howard. 
In the Heartland there are two types of eagles.  The ones who fly south in the winter and those who live here all year around.
One thing they now have in common is that they're no longer considered endangered.
In 1978 the federal government placed the bald eagle on the endangered species list.  Since then they've dropped to the status of threaten and there is talk that delisting them all together.  But they will still be protected because of the bald eagle act and the migratory bird act. 
"It's such a positive thing that the populations is coming back were still celebrating that ever winter" said Howard. 

This eagles not the only one to something to get excited about. "I've looked at my patch and I'm like that pretty nice, that's pretty close to what we wear" Sterling Griffin is a part of famous 101st Air Assault division and his unit is called the Screaming Eagles. "We go in we attack and we get out" said Griffin.

So, for him to the see the creature he and his fellow soldiers emulate in person is breathtaking.

At the end of the trip they aren't the only ones with a story to tell. We all do, who would have ever thought the great bald eagle lives in our backdoor.

In both January and February the land between the lakes boosts upwards to 350 eagles.