Jordan Lake: In flight, the white marks at the end of each flight feather of a fledgling osprey look like dots (I call them “rivets” as at a distance they look metallic to me). This female fledgling gave me a very close fly-by. You can easily see that the white is actually an edging of the color at the feather tips. These “dots” wear off over the next 12-18 months and so by the time this osprey would return to Jordan Lake in about 2 years, she will have lost her rivets.

Jordan Lake: the autumn migration of the ospreys is nearing a close. Most of the adult ospreys have already left for South America. This fledgling male osprey had been fishing with great enthusiasm near one of the ramps yesterday when he took a break and let me marvel at his neat precise landing. The latest I have seen ospreys at Jordan Lake is early November. Plan a trip to the boat ramp nearest to you or to the Jordan Lake Dam and watch as the youngsters work to gain muscle and perfect flying and fishing skills for their upcoming trip to South America.

Jordan Lake: it had been a frustrating morning for my friend Bill and I. Fog and more fog everywhere. As the morning air started to clear up, a few birds started to appear and then out of the corner of my eye I saw this four-year-old bald eagle fly in around the corner, land on a limb about 100 feet from us, and it started to eat its catfish. Neither Bill nor I breathed. We leaned as far around as we could without moving from our places and began photographing this beautiful bald eagle. According to the timestamp on my camera, the eagle stayed with us for right at two minutes. Then, off it went taking its fish and Bill and I breathed again.

Jordan Lake. Both of these birds are 2-year-old bald eagles. They are both females. Did the chest/belly of the first eaglet seem to have a LOT of white feathers while the second youngster was mostly dark brown? Ah, the 1st bird is what we call a “white belly” and these are not seen as often as the darker colored birds. One other detail: note the color of the feet. The white belly eaglet has feet that are pale, almost beige (almost all white bellies have pale feet) while the second eaglet has the more usual yellow feet. Adults tend to have brilliant deep yellow/orange feet. Variety!!!

Jordan Lake: Bald Eagles are impressive … even when leaping away … and you get a different point of view. This fledgling glanced down, tilted and did a powerful launch from his perch.

Jordan Lake: It looks like this bald eagle tried to put on a formal button down vest this morning and got it on backwards. She is closer to five than four years of age. It appears, in both photos and several others I have from this morning, that those are consistent permanent white dots on those feathers. It is an interesting plumage pattern!