An Owl, Eagles, and a Muskrat?

The Barred Owl at High Banks Metro Park is probably one of the photographed birds in central Ohio this winter. However, since it would be a life bird for our daughter-in-law we set out to see if we could find it. Besides, considering  all the holiday food that had been consumed in the last few days, a nice long walk in the woods was definitely in order. Finding an owl, depending on where they are in the tree, can be next to impossible. Normally I look for silhouettes, which wouldn’t have worked in this case as the bird was perched against the trunk of a tree. Fortunately, two young birders with better eyes than mine had already found it when we arrived on the scene.



Barred Owl, Highbanks Metro Park, (Donna).


With our primary objective accomplished we walked on with the hope that he resident pair of Bald Eagles would be near their nest along the Olentangy River. We weren’t disappointed. For several years now the pair has successfully nested  in an area that isn’t all that remote which gives us hope the one day we may have a nesting pair even closer to home (for Bald Eagles closer to home click here).



A Bald Eagle pair along the Olentangy River, (Donna).


Civilization is close by.


The next stop was the wetlands area where we hoped to see some waterfowl. Only one female mallard was in residence perhaps because recent cold weather had caused the pond to partially freeze over. But what was that brown furry thing out on the ice, a Muskrat?



Out on the ice in plan view of soaring eagles, the Muskrat appeared to be eating something. Wetlands Area, Highbanks Metro Park.


During the hike we also encountered other furry creatures.



Red Squirrel, Donna.


Take 2.


Fox Squirrel, (Donna).


As we made our way back we were treated to nice views of one of our favorite birds.



Bluebird, (Donna).


Take 2.


Perhaps due to very wet soil due to recent rains followed by freezing weather, we noticed these ground level ice formations along the trail.



Ice crystals along the trail.


A closer look, (Donna).


A traditional winter walk with a pleasant covering of snow was not in the offing but there’s alway seems to be something to see.


Thanks for stopping by.



January 1 flowers in our front yard??


17 Comments on “An Owl, Eagles, and a Muskrat?

  1. Very nice! I may head up to Highbanks today. Is the the Barred Owl near the observation deck that overlooks the Olentangy?

  2. Happy New Year to you.

    Thank you for sharing.

    The Eagle pair seems already return to the old nest site.

    I will be there sometime to take their photos.

    ________________________________ 差出人: Central Ohio Nature 送信日時: 2016年1月3日 8:28 宛先: 件名: [New post] An Owl, Eagles, and a Muskrat?

    centralohionature posted: “The Barred Owl at High Banks Metro Park is probably one of the photographed birds in central Ohio this winter. However, since it would be a life bird for our daughter-in-law we set out to see if we could find it. Besides, considering all the holiday food”

    • Thanks, it’s been a lot of fun keeping with everyone’s adventures over the past year. Looking forward to seeing more production from that new camera in the coming year.

  3. That muskrat is living dangerously!
    Nice shots of the owl and eagles. I’ve seen a barred owl and a juvenile eagle here, but no adult eagles.
    I’m glad you saw some ice needles. The way they form is a fascinating process where everything has to come together just right.

  4. Great photos from Highbanks! The Barred Owl is a very photogenic bird, I’ve seen it in warmer weather deep in the woods. And it’s good to see the eagles back!

  5. I had no idea that there are bald eagles in Ohio – any idea if they venture into Michigan at all? I also envy that owl photo, I have yet to capture an owl with my camera.

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