FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Officials say the bald eagle population in Kentucky is continuing to grow and spread.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says the number of nesting pairs grew to 164 in the latest survey, up from 151 the year before. That's an increase of 9 percent.

Kate Slankard, an aviation biologist with the department, told The Courier-Journal that the birds are also spreading across the state. While numbers in western Kentucky continue to be strong, bald eagle nests also are increasing in central and eastern Kentucky.

The number of birds has increased to the point where they are no longer on the endangered species list, but they are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com