Bald Eagles On The Iowa River

It was a beautiful sunny day this February 2nd. The temperature climbed into the mid-50s. We drove to a small dam site along the Iowa River to watch the Bald Eagles. At this time of year, the river is usually frozen over except below the small dams. There the eagles gather to fish or just hang out in the trees. Not many were fishing today. Most were soaring on the winds.

The dam is not large like those on the Mississippi where a hundred eagles can be seen at one time.

Canada Geese patrolled the waters above and below the drop of the dam.

We walked across the footbridge and spotted a pair of eagles in a tree rather far away. The sun was not in a good direction to give the best lighting.

We walked another path along the river bank for a better angle and to be closer. Our movement didn’t bother them. As we watched, they left their perches and flew over the water swooping down to try to grab a fish. None were successful. They returned to perch and sit together in the warm sun.


13 thoughts on “Bald Eagles On The Iowa River

  1. shoreacres

    The combination of the birds and those blue, blue skies is great. People occasional report an eagle in my area, but we mostly have ospreys. Across Galveston Bay, where the land is more wooded and there are undeveloped bayous and sloughs full of fish, there are more. Mid-50s is great hiking and birding weather; I’m glad you were able to enjoy it.

  2. Jan

    We see them frequently out here in rural East Central Iowa. But back in 1983, I remember seeing one in a tree near Spring Green, Wisconsin. We stopped the car and watched intently, as we had rarely seen an Eagle, let along view one at close range. Some things do change for the better.

    1. Jim R Post author

      Thank you, Val. We are lucky to be where many of these big birds gather each winter. It was special to be out on a beautiful day and see them.

  3. vfleshman

    We saw an Eagle yesterday driving down HWY 9 west of Rock Rapids, Iowa. The Eagle was flying across a field of nothing yet but it flew right in front of us about twenty feet high AWESOME!

    1. Jim R Post author

      Last week we heard of one flying low across I-80 when it got hit by a semi windshield. It was a glancing blow and didn’t get badly injured. The truck and driver were ok, too.


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