It wasn't that long ago that we ventured up Interstate 65 and visited Bernheim Forest for the first time. It was worth the drive, even if we didn't get to see all of the giants; we got there a little late, forgetting about the time change.

While this gorgeous slice of Kentucky is well worth your time, there's more to it than just those amazing sculptures. Of course, an eagle is a lot harder to spot. And if you were there between October 19th and November 27th, you weren't going to see it anyway. (We went in late summer and didn't see it.)

Golden Eagle Returns to Kentucky's Bernheim Forest

It's not just any old eagle; it's a golden eagle that spent 39 days on a flight to Canada and back again--about 1,700 miles. There are actually multiple golden eagles that spend time at Bernheim.

But it's Athena that forest officials are monitoring heavily. That's because she hatched a chick this summer, and the folks at Bernheim are anxious to learn if her new partner or offspring came with her.

Honestly, you may have SEEN a golden eagle at Bernheim and didn't know it. Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky explains that when golden eagles are in flight, they're practically indistinguishable from bald eagles or turkey vultures.

These birds are incredibly beautiful and FAST. Here's what the American Eagle Foundation has to say about their speed:

As they fly, Golden Eagles often hold their wings up in a slight “V.”  A normal soaring speed is about 28-32 mph; when they are hunting, they can glide at speeds up to 120 mph. When diving (or stooping) for prey, they reach speeds of 150 – 200 mph.

Let's soar with one of them, now that we're on the subject:

Simply stunning.

So, the next time you're at Bernheim Forest, ask some of the park employees or a ranger to help you spot Athena, if that's possible. I mean, she might be resting; it was, after all, a 1,700-mile flight.

[SOURCE: WHAS11-Louisville]

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