Jordan Lake: I had been listening to the crows’ mobbing calls for several minutes, over behind the trees beyond First Nest. Then out from the trees burst a red-tailed hawk in the midst of several crows. Crows chase any raptor away from their territory. The hawk sailed past, ignoring the squawking and diving crows. Eventually they all disappeared on the far side of the cove. Note: the BIG bulge that you can see extending from the hawk’s throat to its chest is made by the bird’s crop and it is swollen because the hawk has stored excess food there for later consumption.

Jordan Lake does not have a human happy hour, so to speak, because alcohol is not allowed at the lake. However, American Crows define happy hour to be any time that they come across some human food to haul off. The lead crow has either a piece of chicken wing or maybe chicken nugget and it is heading for the clan’s cache tree. The other two crows are part of his family/clan that are escorting him across the open part of the lake in order to keep other clans from stealing that tidbit of human food. It appears that fried chicken in any form or shape and at any hour is appealing both to humans and to crows!

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: You know the saying “the best laid plans of mice and men (and photographers)? Photo bomb! Just as the bald eagle caught her fish, an American crow decided to zip along side of her. The crow did make a rather interesting abstract form that nicely framed the eagle.

The young hawk takes the opportunity to chase an American crow. The hawk is pestering the crow. The crow is much bigger than the hawk’s normal prey of sparrows and warblers. American crows raid hawk nests and steal eggs and chicks. Even though this is a juvenile hawk, he understands the damage a crow can do and decides to remind the crow just how agile a flier is the Sharp-shinned Hawk.