Jordan Lake: Mom bald eagle came ripping across the top of the trees. There was a 3-year-old bald eagle in her territory. The face-to-face mid-air action was breath-taking! It didn’t take Mom Eagle long to chase the youngster through the trees and out of the cove. Whew!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: As a veterinarian, I have a lively interest in anatomy. An owl can do a 270° head turn without hurting themselves. Most birds can get between 180° and about 200° rotation. I think some birds are just more flexible than others … especially the raptors. This is a fledgling black vulture, this morning at the dam, doing close to the 270° head turn of an owl. The series starts at the upper left and goes clockwise. The photo with the red border is the furthest reach of the turn. Quite a flexible neck!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Great blue herons are very territorial, and are that way from the moment they fledge from the nest. Each bird wants his share on the shoreline … and will fight to maintain control of the area. The fledgling great blue heron tried to land on the shore of the riprap. He was promptly flattened by a subadult great blue heron – about 1 1/2 years-old – who had a stake on that piece of property. The ensuing fight was loud and quite aggressive on both sides. The fledgeling is the one whose head is mostly a mottled brown and the subadult has a lot of white on his face and the beginning of the black striped cap of an adult. Neither bird seemed worse for the fight as the fledgling, for the moment relinquishing thoughts of acquiring the piece of shoreline, headed for the opposite side of the river. It finally got quiet on the riprap.
The sun was hot and bright. The Haw River was running gently. A great blue heron fledgling was fishing … sometimes he got his fish … sometimes he missed. Practice is both the key to the catch and the key to getting the fish from the front of the beak to inside the beak and down the throat!
Jordan Lake: Usually when ospreys have a disagreement, it is worked out through lots of chatter, high pitched squeals and a couple of bluff dives. There was no bluffing involved in this dispute between two adult female ospreys. None. I think the aggressor was on her own turf and decided she was going to make sure the other female left. I have never seen one osprey deliberately strike another osprey but that is what happened. Yikes! Neither seemed the worse for the encounter as both flew out over the lake, still screaming.