While on the Haw River above the main lake, a friend and I watched a pair of immature bald eagles practicing the maneuver known as a death spiral. I managed to get one of the talon to talon grabs that the youngsters were practicing; when they get really good at this skill they lock both feet to both feet. This is a critical skill for a bald eagle to learn as it is part of the breeding behavior of a potential breeding pair of bald eagles. The upper bird is a 4-year-old and the lower bird is a 3-year-old.

A female osprey and a number of fishermen were all fishing the riprap. Normally the ospreys see the active fishing lines and avoid them. This morning, perhaps because of the glinting sunshine, the osprey flew into a line. Immediately two of the fishermen rushed to her rescue. Quickly the Army Corps ranger arrived and joined in. It took just under 10 minutes for the 3 kind souls to free the osprey of all the line and release her, unhurt. Thanks to the fishermen and the ranger the osprey flew safely back to her nest and family.

 

 

From one end of Jordan Lake to the other, the ospreys are hauling in big bass.
Dad osprey was fishing in the Haw River, inside the riprap at the dam.
Into the flight path of the osprey a great blue heron appeared.
The osprey ignored the squawking heron and concentrated on the bass.
You can see that the raptor was struggling to get the whole fish above the water.
Dad osprey managed the lift and was up and away towards his nest. Whew!

Flight Detail
As an equine veterinarian, I sometimes did still photography to help diagnose lameness problems.
But, Doc, why didn’t you use video since the problem was one of movement, you ask.
The bald eagle shown here, the wing beat captured in 2 cycles, is the reason for the stills …
I can see the stretch of the body and the pull of the wings on this healthy eagle.
In a video I would have to stop the movie, hoping to catch the moment of a problem.
With the stills I could more easily see the changes in a horse’s gait.
Or, if this eagle were in flight trouble, I could better see where in the cycle the problem occurred.