Eagles and Ice

Yesterday we decided to check out the area along the Scioto River below Griggs Dam for ice formations. It was very cold and the reservoir had frozen over. It all seemed a little unreal because just a few days before very heavy rain had  accompanied 50F temperatures. Rain means the river level rises in proportion to the amount. Usually within a day or so the level drops leaving beautiful ice formations if it’s cold enough. The ice the only evidence of where the water had once been.


Many waterfowl had taken up residence in the river’s open water . Amongst the Canada Geese and Mallards we did see Golden Eyes, Hooded Mergansers, Buffle Heads, Pie-billed Grebes. Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons were still making a living in the cold. However, one heron flying overhead appeared to have a least one of it’s feet encased in a small block of ice. Perhaps it stood in the wrong place to long.


Just below the dam waterfowl escape the ice of the frozen reservoir.


Waterfowl huddle just out of the river’s current.


Fascinating ice shapes were everywhere.


Scioto River looking north

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Ice cones.

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Different shapes.

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Icy landscape, Scioto River looking south.

Ice Mobile 010915 Griggs south cp1 - Copy

Very small Chandelier, (Donna)

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Ice Ear Rings 2 010915 Griggs south csb1 - Copy

Ice Ear Rings?, (Donna)

Mini Ice Chandelier 010915 Griggs south cp1

Another chandelier, (Donna)


There was evidence of birds walking in the fresh snow.

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Last year we noticed that when there are a lot of waterfowl concentrated in one spot it’s not uncommon to see Bald Eagles. Yesterday, with the concentration of waterfowl, we were rewarded with some great views of eagles perched near the top of tall trees along the river. In total we saw four, two appeared to be mature and two were immature. Pretty exciting for just two miles from our house!

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A Bald Eagle lands.

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Bald Eagles, study 2

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Bald Eagles, study 3, (Donna)

Bald Eagle Duet good 3 Griggs south cp1 (2) - Copy

Study 4, (Donna)

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Getting ready to take flight, study 5

Juvenile Bald Eagle better 1 010915 Griggs south cp1

Immature Bald Eagle, (Donna)


A Bluebird braving the cold. One of several that were seen.


Bluebird, Hoover Park


Thanks for looking in. We hope you have the opportunity to enjoy nature in our neighborhood in the coming week.

13 Comments on “Eagles and Ice

  1. Thank you so much.
    I love the photos of ice formation and bald eages. I should be there this afternoon.

    Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2015 13:58:54 +0000
    To: bahuynh@hotmail.com

  2. As you’ve probably guessed I love looking at interesting ice formations and these certainly are. What a drop in water lever though! It looks really extreme, as if there is a difference of a foot or more.
    How lucky to see the eagles! I know there is at least one on the local river here but I haven’t seen him yet.

  3. Great photos of the ice and the eagles! Did you notice that the pair of eagles seem to be communicating with each other, even though you probably couldn’t hear a thing?

    • Yes, they actually could be heard making some type of calls. As you suggest, probably in “Eaglespeak”.   From: Central Ohio Nature To: motobobp@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, January 10, 2015 6:14 PM Subject: [Central Ohio Nature] Comment: “Eagles and Ice” #yiv6580517731 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6580517731 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6580517731 a.yiv6580517731primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6580517731 a.yiv6580517731primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6580517731 a.yiv6580517731primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6580517731 a.yiv6580517731primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6580517731 WordPress.com | | |

  4. I can’t get over the amazing ice shapes in the pictures. Beautifully sculptured by nature. I’m also surprised at how many birds are about in the cold weather. I guess they can’t all fly away to warmer lands in winter, especially bald eagles! I guess they must have enough warm feathering and other adaptations to withstand the cold. A startling different landscape to where I am in Australia at the moment.

  5. I love those ice chandeliers! There is a lot of ice around here, but I have never seen shapes like those before! Also love the eagles. I think the ones that live across the river from us might have moved on further south because I haven’t seen or heard them for about a week now.

  6. On Thursday April 9 at 2PM I was taking a group from a retirement village on a scenic bus ride. As we drove north along the Scioto river north of Fishinger Rd. I spotted a large black bird across the river in the top of a big sycamore tree. I stopped and rolled the window down for a better look. I mentioned to the group that it looked like a bald eagle, but I did not see any white on it’s head. Then two crows showed up and started harassing the bird. It started screeching at the crows, and that sound removed all doubt. A short time later we met two park employees. I asked them if they had seen or heard of any Bald Eagles nearby. They replied they had seen two adults and one juvenile eagle several times in during the week, I am now convinced our group saw the juvenile Eagle named “Donna” pictured in the above article. What a delightful and unexpected surprise for our group and all of this community.
    I have lived in Columbus and been an avid bird watcher for 64 years, but this is my first Bald Eagle sighting here. I’ll be taking my wife out this weekend to look for them again!.

    • Yes there are Bald Eagles along Griggs Reservoir and the Scioto river in Columbus. We see them more in the winter but have also seen them other times of the year. They didn’t appear to be nesting in the immediate area and we don’t see them every time but it pretty exciting nonetheless.

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