The sky over the Haw River, as it exited the Jordan Lake Dam, was full of fishing ospreys, gulls and cormorants.
A piercing whistle alert by one of the ospreys caused every bird in the air to scatter.
I knew the whistle meant there was an eagle coming.
I turned and there was this beautiful 3-year-old bald eagle.
As I tracked the eagle I could hear the continuing alarm calls of the ospreys.
The eagle ignored all of us and crossed to the north and disappeared.
The morning was grey and I didn’t have long to stay at the riprap.
In among the gulls cruising above the tailrace an osprey appeared.
The determined bird made a single pass over the river and banked hard.
So hard that I didn’t catch up with the osprey until it had caught its fish.
Bald eagles are ALWAYS challenging each other.
The 2-year-old eagle wanted the same branch that the adult was heading towards.
The youngster flexed his talons, ready to land and push the adult aside.
No dice. The adult fended off the younger eagle.
Then the adult yelled his victory.
It takes a lot of nesting material to keep a bald eagle’s nest clean and insulated.
I am not sure which parent bald eagle this is, but he certainly has a large load of straw.
To collect the material, the bird finds rows of the straw on the shoreline or sometimes on a sandbar.
The eagle then flies across the patch, talons open, and snags the straw while flying.
Reminds me of a plane catching the tail wire on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.