The lake level was so high that I could not see the nest.
The sky was sunny, but I was not because I wanted to see the chicks branching.
I had turned around to go back to my truck when a shadow blew past me.
Not a sound had been made in the cove. Yet, here was Kate at a high speed heading for the nest.
She didn’t have a fish. She did look angry.
Into the branches around the nest Kate disappeared.
No sounds. I waited another 30 minutes then had to leave, wondering why the dash to the nest.
The osprey caught a fish down on the river and came up over the dam.
A 3-year-old bald eagle quickly saw the opportunity to try to steal a fish.
The eagle was gaining on the osprey when an adult bald eagle broke up the chase.
I don’t know which way the osprey fled – I hope it still had its fish.
Ospreys go in, I mean often way deep under water when fishing.
The dive picks up a lot of water on the body of the osprey.
Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon.
Flight calls for a bird without an excess load to haul into the air.
Ospreys do a shake to shed the excess water. The shake is just like what a wet dog does.
The shake starts at the beak and twists through to the tail.
Here you can see the osprey is ahead of the spray and the shake has gotten almost to the tail feathers.
Jordan Lake Free-For-All Above the Haw River
It only takes one fish.
Plus the desire of 3 immature bald eagles to steal that fish.
To make a fine photographic opportunity for me.
While the eaglet on the top right makes a dash for the trees, hoping to keep his fish.
Jordan Lake Bald Eagles
I found myself laughing about this photo that I made yesterday at the dam.
Thought it would be good to pass the laughter along on this grey winter day!
The immature bald eagle apparently got tired of the adult eagle yelling.
Bald Eagle Death Spiral
As they mature at the age of 5, Bald Eagles use the Death Spiral to determine the fitness of a potential mate.
The sky challenge is there to prove to each eagle that the other one is just as arrogant, assured, and fit as the other.
The eagles clasp each other’s talons and dare the other one to let go first.
The difference in the size of the smaller male to the larger female causes the birds to spiral around their axis.
Sometimes, the drive to win is so strong that the hold is not broken and the birds crash into the ground or the water.
Immature eagles practice this maneuver all the time. In this case it is a pair of four-year-old bald eagles.
Death can occur. These two immature eagles broke the clasp just as they got to the tree line.