Loblolly and Pitch, of Big Pine Nest, the bald eagle parents at Shelter 8 have returned.  The gate to Picnic Area A, shelter 8 is open and needs to be closed to people.  Loblolly and Pitch lost their chick(s) this last March because the gate to shelter 8 was left open.  Bald eagles, when there is too much interference at their nest, will literally abandon the eggs or chicks in the nest and this is what happened because the gate was left open.  Many of us asked the Superintendent of the park to please close the gate to shelter 8 and that the gate to its sister shelter 2 be opened in its place.  The shelter 8 gate was never closed and people intruded on the nest.  The pressure of people too close to their nest (along with the usual natural interference of other bald eagles) was more than the defense mounted by the two parent eagles could handle. Loblolly and Pitch did their very best – flying in circles, screaming and hoping to scare the people away.  The parent bald eagles lost the confrontation.  Today the gate to shelter 8 is open and people are once again intruding.  Please, contact the Superintendent at  shederick.mole@ncparks.gov   phone: 919-362-0586 ext. 231 and let him know how you feel about this situation.  Please let everyone know to stay out of Picnic Area A and away from shelter 8.  Let’s give Loblolly and Pitch the best chance to raise chicks this season.  Thank you all for your support of the bald eagles of Jordan Lake!

photo: Loblolly trying to scare human intruders away from her nest.

Respect. Respect the Bald Eagles of Jordan Lake. 50% of bald eagle fledglings don’t live to become a yearling. Why? They have to learn to fish, to feed themselves. When a person walks down the riprap below the Jordan Lake Dam, hoping to get closer to the bald eagles they can see, they push the birds further down the Haw River and away from the best fishing spots. The Federal Law states you must stay 330 feet from a bald eagle. Going past the marked distance on the map below (on either side of the riprap) pushes the eagles away from their food source. This is considered harassment. Please be patient. Don’t chase the bald eagles. Stop where I have marked on the riprap and let the eagles come to you. Give our National Symbol room to fish and to live.The photos with this posting were all taken from the banks of the riprap this morning, where I sat at the black arrow. If you want to read the rules, go to the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Act of 2007 where ALL the laws of the bald eagle originate. These laws are based on more than 200 years of study on the ecology of the bald eagle and not on a desire to get closer to them. Come join me, at the tailrace of the Jordan Lake Dam, sit, enjoy and watch like I did this morning while 9 bald eagles joined me between where I sat and the end of the rock riprap. Thank you for your patience and willingness to give the Jordan Lake Bald Eagles room to fish and thrive.

Jordan Lake. Very occasionally I see an immature bald eagle think about trying to take a fish from a great blue heron. The juvenile eagle gets within about 6 feet of the heron’s long beak and backs out. I have never seen before what happened here. The adult bald eagle went after the great blue heron’s fish. Wow!

Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron

Jordan Lake. Most raptor species seem to enjoy carrying around various objects that have really no practical use. Like this adult bald eagle, carrying around this twig of dead Pine needles. They just seem to get a kick out of hauling things around … playing!

Jordan Lake. A pair of adult bald eagles were perched quietly. One suddenly jumped up and flew over the peninsula. Then bald eagle screaming began on the other side of the trees. Captain Doug got us around the cove to find a fledgling bald eagle who was apparently in the adult bald eagles’ territory. There was about three minutes of fast and furious chase time. All three eagles seemed to be fine at the end of all of the chasing.