I was cold and had decided to call it a day. As I turned toward my truck, I saw an adult bald eagle appear out of the shadows that wrapped the Haw River. The bald eagle was carrying a large fish. She was also being chased by at least 2 other eagles who wanted her fish. The eagle was moving fast. The 11 photos in the slideshow cover the 11 seconds from when I saw this bald eagle until she passed over my head and headed out over the dam.
I watched the 2-year-old bald eagle break away from the group of eagles that were squabbling down river. As he climbed upwards I realized he was going to intersect the contrail of a very high jet. I thought about how ragged the eaglet looked. He was still using the same flight feathers he had left the nest with when he fledged, and there were now gaps as the new flight feathers were beginning to emerge. He appeared to be racing past the jet and I cheered him on towards a third year of life.
Fish are stunned by their passage through the Jordan Lake Dam. This makes it easier for the bald eagles to catch them. You can see the fish just before the bald eagle strikes!
Mom Bald Eagle at Captain’s Nest went to gather a stick, in a mid-air pickup, for the nest repair needed before she lays her eggs. The stick did not cooperate at all!