Jordan Lake Dam & Haw River: the riprap at the tailrace has become a traffic jam! There have been more than a dozen ospreys and 4-5 bald eagles all looking for fish. However, the bald eagle is a lazy hunter. In this case, an eagle, about 14 months old, had decided it wanted Mom osprey’s fish. The high speed chase lasted almost 2 minutes. The pursuit went from the dam to the south end of the riprap. Mom osprey dropped her fish at that point and the bald eagle went out over the playground and Mom osprey went looking for another fish in the riprap. This duel often happens where ever ospreys and bald eagles inhabit the same water ways. The photos also let you see the size difference between the two species.
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Sometimes, the 12-year-old heart of me just has to play with a photograph and find new ways to see bald eagles. Such as this 2-year-old bald eagle at the riprap this morning, in all the fog. I hope the changes let you see the concentration of the youngster as he aims for just the right branch for his landing.
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: Remember the ruckus yesterday when the 3-year-old bald eagle knocked the 2-year-old eagle off the preferred branch? The 3-year-old got to spend 27 minutes on the favored branch. Then an adult bald eagle decided the branch was now its sole perch. Another tumble in the chilly wind!
Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River: the weather was changing this morning at the riprap, getting grayer, cloudier and wind was starting to pickup. All factors that stir eagles into fishing and fighting. Eagles get a charge out of knocking each other off of a branch. The two-year-old on the left was happily minding his own business when a 3-year-old decided it wanted that particular perch. Lots of screaming and one tumbling two-year-old but no one was harmed. Well, maybe the two-year-old’s arrogance factor was paled a little bit … for only a moment, I am sure!
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.