Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Remember the ruckus yesterday when the 3-year-old bald eagle knocked the 2-year-old eagle off the preferred branch? The 3-year-old got to spend 27 minutes on the favored branch. Then an adult bald eagle decided the branch was now its sole perch. Another tumble in the chilly wind!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: the weather was changing this morning at the riprap, getting grayer, cloudier and wind was starting to pickup. All factors that stir eagles into fishing and fighting. Eagles get a charge out of knocking each other off of a branch. The two-year-old on the left was happily minding his own business when a 3-year-old decided it wanted that particular perch. Lots of screaming and one tumbling two-year-old but no one was harmed. Well, maybe the two-year-old’s arrogance factor was paled a little bit … for only a moment, I am sure!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: It was an outright attack. The upper bald eagle, a 3-year-old, attacked the lower eagle, a 4-year-old. In all the years I have watched bald eagles, I have never seen more than a feather or two pulled loose during an attack, whether the disagreement was over a fish that one of the birds was carrying or during an attempt to raid an eagle nest. This morning I watched several eagles chasing other eagles, trying to get the eagle with the fish to drop it so the chaser could catch the fish and have a meal it had not caught. In this sequence, the lower bird did not have a fish, it had simply left its perch and headed towards the river. I have no idea why the 3-year-old got so angry except to say that all three-year-old bald eagles are brats and at all times seem more on edge than at other stages of life. The 4-year-old flew off, and I saw it later, back trying to fish and flying well. Whew! What a cloud of feathers.
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: This fledgling bald eagle has got the grab-the-fish-and-run sequence down pat. Note that she is carrying the large fish with only her right foot and still manages to do a great landing deep inside the tree branches. However, like bald eagles are prone to do, she yelled about her accomplishment … luckily for her none of the other eagles decided to accept her challenge!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: I love the plumage patterns and colors on the 3-year-old bald eagles. This eagle had been watching the river flowing inside the riprap for some time. A flash of a fish caught her eye and almost instantly she had caught her dinner. What a beautiful display of her fishing abilities!
Two 4-year-old bald eagles came up from the Haw River and the chase was on. The lead bald eagle had a rather small fish tucked tight against its tail and the other eagle wanted the fish. Gravity exerted its pull on the fish. The lead eagle lost its grip on the fish. Instantly the sky fishing game was on as the following bald eagle sought to catch the fish … in mid-air. I have seen this happen (eagle on eagle or eagle on osprey) but never gotten even close to the half-way decent photos I captured this morning. My oh my! Aerial dexterity in the extreme. Oh, and did the eagle catch the fish……. the slideshow has the exciting answer!