Video: Bald Eagles Descend on Mississippi, Take Ride on Ice Floating Down River


Though eagles appear to have no use for pesky drones, it appears that two clever bald eagles in Illinois have at least found some use for ice.

According to Fox News, last month nature enthusiast Brian Woolman found two bald eagles floating down the Mississippi River on chunks of ice.

It startled him so much (in a good way, mind you) that he recorded what he saw and shared it on his Facebook page, “Nature First,” which he uses to “provide photos and videos of the nature around us.”



Bald eagle floating on some ice down the mississippi riverBald eagle floating on some ice down the mississippi river. Lock and Dam No. 18

Posted by Nature First on Friday, January 19, 2018

Not much else is known about the video except that it was recorded “at the Lock and Dam No. 18 near Gladstone, Ill., located on the upper part of the Mississippi River about 410 miles above the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers,” as reported by Fox.

As of Saturday it already almost 2.5 million views and counting.

Have you ever seen an eagle in person?

What some might might want to know, however, is why exactly were the eagles hanging around the Mississippi River in the middle of winter?, a blog operated by nature lovers Michael and Diane Porter, notes that during the winter, bald eagles purposefully hover around “rivers, coasts, lakes and estuaries” in search of food: “What they’re after is food. Especially fish, one of the mainstays of a bald eagle’s diet.”

The problem is that frozen rivers are no use to eagles, which is why many of them wind up congregating around the Mississippi River in particular.

“The turbulence of water coming through the locks and over the dams keeps the surface of the water from freezing. And to make it even easier for the eagles, the fish get stunned when they tumble over a dam,” the blog points out.

Furthermore, “(t)he colder the winter, the better your chances of seeing eagles” around the Mississippi River.

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Why? Because the colder the winter, the more likely every river besides the Mississippi is frozen.

As for the chances of seeing two bald eagles hitching a ride on chunks of ice — well, that’s an entirely different story. In fact, I’m not aware of something like this having ever been recorded before.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t ever happened before, but that nobody has captured it on video yet, save for Woolman, obviously.

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