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.
Jordan Lake Neighborhood
Great blue herons often argue and chase one another.
Each is certain that the other heron has the better fishing spot on the bank.
This fracas started on the shore of the Haw River, inside the riprap.
The dam was stunning fish as they passed through the gates and the pickings were easy.
Unless, of course, your neighbor heron was further upstream than you were and the fish passed them first.
Both herons missed the fish and a third heron a little further downstream had it for breakfast.
This 2-year-old bald eagle was puzzled and determined.
He knew there had to be fish in the water below.
He was certain of that … or maybe not. Apparently not.
After this single long hard look, he eased back into forward flight and went down the river.
Jordan Lake is always full of surprises and contrasts.
It is home to both the largest and smallest raptors in the US.
Both of the birds below were very proud of their catches this afternoon.
American Bald Eagle
length: 34-43 inches weight: 168 oz wingspan 72-96 inches
American Kestrel (also the smallest falcon in the US)
length: 9-12 inches weight: 3.9 oz wingspan 20-24 inches