Help Protect the Bald Eagles at Jordan Lake!  We all want to see the bald eagles and perhaps get a photograph.  Here is how to see the eagles and not bother them. This time of the year it is breeding season for our bald eagles.   It is up to us to protect the parents and their families.  The MOST important rule is this: stay at least 660 feet from a nest – that is the length of 2 football fields.  If there are ANY signs of agitation by the parents, even if you are far away, please simply leave the area.  Do you know that bald eagles are very sensitive to human intrusion and will get so upset that they will abandon their nest and its eggs or chicks!  Yes, the parents will do this.  So, if you find yourself near a nest, please leave and let the parents have the peace and quiet they need in order to take care of their families.  If the eagle isn’t near a nest, then you can approach within 330ft – that is 1 football field away.   We would also ask that if you see a disturbance at a bald eagle nest, please call the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area office at (919) 362-0586.  Help us keep these distance rules and you are helping the bald eagles take care of their families and giving us generations of sightings!

Jordan Lake, Haw River: The double-crested cormorants had been half-dozing in the somewhat warmer afternoon sunshine.  Then, I swear, someone had to have said: Three…Two…One…Launch and the cormorants went sprung!

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River.  Captain Doug and I have been seeing bald eagles of all ages from fledgling through adults with feathers growing from their nares/nostrils. Usually we see a nares feather on one side of the beak or a feather on the other side of the beak. This morning this two-year-old flew past me with a pair of bright white nares feathers. Perfectly crossed across the top of his beak. It’s got to be a genetic trait here at the lake to see it in several bald eagles of all ages.  Sure is neat looking bling!

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!