Jordan Lake. I was sitting quietly listening for loons. From the trees across the lake from me came this 2-year-old bald eagle. My congratulations to her! She had beaten the roughly 50% odds that all eagles face in their first year of life… She lived to fish at two years of age. Oh, the intensity on her face!
Jordan Lake. The amount of energy expended by one gull chasing another gull just to try to steal the fish… You would think it would be easier just go catch your own fish. However, seabirds often engage in this kind of attempted theft. The fish won this round as it fell back into the river.
See the Fish?
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River. The osprey’s eyes glittered with the intensity of the raptor’s attention. Talons stretched, taut and sharp. I could see the fish in front of the vibrantly alive bird. The osprey struck successfully and took the fish home. I snapped the shot and brought the memory home to share with all of you.
One Big Fish for a Fledgling Great Blue Heron
Jordan Dam, Haw River: How does a great blue heron go about swallowing a fish that is bigger than his own head and throat? Remembering that birds are living dinosaurs and therefore closely related to reptiles, I think the birds work at relaxing the muscles of their jaw and throat until they can work their way around the fish. You will see several pauses while this fledgling heron goes utterly still – I think that is when he is resting and allowing his muscles to stretch. That’s my take on the situation. He also occasionally dips the fish back into the water to keep it wet and maintain its slipperiness. The whole episode took more than 10 minutes … I have put up only the last part of the heron’s work. As to the trash, I wish people were more careful about the environment and took their trash out with them.
Jordan Lake: Not 1, But 2 Fish at the Same Time!
Not One but TWO! Yes, two fish at the same time. One in each talon. The osprey tried hard to hold onto both fish, but, one got away; you can see the fish drop away. I believe this is a subadult male – about 2-years-old – and still without a mate. As strong and determined as he is, he probably won’t have trouble finding a suitable mate late next winter. WOW! Two at Once!!!