I recently returned from a family visitation trip in Missouri, where
we took a drive to Noel and saw a pair of Bald Eagles! There are about
50 pairs wintering in Missouri, where it is not quite cold enough for
the water to freeze completely. The high for that day was 30 degrees,
though; about 10 degrees at night. Noel is in the southwest corner of
the state, and the eagles were along Elk River, which has beautiful
sandy & muddy banks surrounded by oak, sycamore, and walnut trees.
They were perched atop a tall, dead tree and seemed very majestic. I
got a picture of them with some icicle-laced limestone cliffs in the
background; Missouri has many caves hidden in the rock.
Other local river birds included great blue herons, canada geese,
red-bellied and downy/hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, chicadees and
titmice. I used to occasionally see a Pileated woodpecker, but this
time I caught sight of a crested kingfisher instead.