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: I love the plumage patterns and colors on the 3-year-old bald eagles. This eagle had been watching the river flowing inside the riprap for some time. A flash of a fish caught her eye and almost instantly she had caught her dinner. What a beautiful display of her fishing abilities!

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: I had just settled in on the riprap of the dam, just past the fishing pier, at 26 minutes after sunrise. An explosive motion caught my eye. This 4-year-old male bald eagle exploded out of the deep shadows of the trees across the river from me. He hit the water so fast that I missed his flare, caught his capture of the fish, wondered if he could hold onto the large fish with just one foot. The eagle wondered that too and glanced down to check…

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River, Bald Eagle Gathering. Bald eagles will steal, or try to, a fish from other bald eagles. The eagle in the lead is a mature bald eagle and he is carrying a small, white fish that is dangling in his talons just below his tail feathers. The chaser is a 2-year-old bald eagle and it surely wants the fish. The perched fledgling eagle ogles the other two birds for the moment, but eventually it also entered the chase … too far down river for my camera to make an attempt at a shot.

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: This morning the weather was cold, crisp and windy … bald eagles love those conditions. These two immature bald eagles came speeding up the river, headed towards the dam. They sparred as they went past me and were still trying to prove which one was the better fighter when they disappeared over the dam towards the main lake. The top eagle is a 2-year-old and the bottom eagle is a 3-year-old.