Many different species of birds are fledging at Jordan Lake right now.
I quietly watched this great blue heron this morning.
This new flier is about 8 weeks old and has probably been flying for only a few days.
He was exploring the lake shoreline when he discovered that I was watching him.
Full of curiosity he ambled closer for a look.
Mom Godiva had been lurking on a high perch when she jumped and streaked to just above water level.
Her direction was taking her straight down the shore line.
I heard a great blue heron give its grumpy annoyed don’t-you-dare-disturb-me yell.
Floating behind the heron was a dead fish.
I realized that the eagle’s flight path was straight for the heron. Both birds wanted the fish.
I wondered if a collision was eminent.
But, no. Godiva lifted up over the heron, glanced down at the fish and kept moving past.
I continued to track Godiva and when I looked back to the heron, it had flown almost out of sight, fish dangling from its beak.
He is probably a year old as he has developed head plumes and is beginning to change his head markings.
If you look carefully, you can see some fishing line wrapped around his left leg.
The fishing line bothers me a great deal, but thankfully it doesn’t appear to be bothering him.
The great blue herons are putting on their breeding plumage.
They glow against the dark rocks of the riprap.
Jordan Lake Neighborhood
Great blue herons often argue and chase one another.
Each is certain that the other heron has the better fishing spot on the bank.
This fracas started on the shore of the Haw River, inside the riprap.
The dam was stunning fish as they passed through the gates and the pickings were easy.
Unless, of course, your neighbor heron was further upstream than you were and the fish passed them first.
Both herons missed the fish and a third heron a little further downstream had it for breakfast.
1 medium-sized fish, stunned by the transit through the dam.
1 great blue heron with the fish in its beak.
1 great blue heron thinking about stealing the fish from the other heron.
1 bald eagle determined to make the fish his.
Results: the heron swallowed the fish before it could get stolen.