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.


There are 3 bald eagles in the chase.
The lowest bald eagle is a 3-year-old and it caught the fish that is dangling from one talon.
The adult bald eagle was right behind the 3-year-old when the youngster caught the fish and immediately the chase was on.
The best way for the catcher to hold onto his fish was to make it deep into the woods and land on a branch, fish again the branch.
The 3-year old had almost made it to safety when a 2-year-old eagle joined the chase and cut in below the adult.
The chase was fast and furious with a lot of screams. Ultimately, the 3-year-old lost the game and dropped the fish.
I have enclosed both a full-color and a black and white image.
The scene is so detailed that it may be easier to see the 3 eagles in one or the other photographs.
black and white of same photo

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
_ark4457 jl dam 24-01-19 18-12-08 2 eagle fish frame
American Kestrel (also the smallest falcon in the US)
length: 9-12 inches    weight: 3.9 oz   wingspan 20-24 inches
_ark4124 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-31 1 kestrel lizard_ark4127 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-46 1 kestrel lizard