Jordan Lake: Mom bald eagle came ripping across the top of the trees.  There was a 3-year-old bald eagle in her territory.  The face-to-face mid-air action was breath-taking!  It didn’t take Mom Eagle long to chase the youngster through the trees and out of the cove.  Whew!

The sun was hot and bright.  The Haw River was running gently.  A great blue heron fledgling was fishing … sometimes he got his fish … sometimes he missed.  Practice is both the key to the catch and the key to getting the fish from the front of the beak to inside the beak and down the throat!

 

Jordan Dam, Haw River: How does a great blue heron go about swallowing a fish that is bigger than his own head and throat? Remembering that birds are living dinosaurs and therefore closely related to reptiles, I think the birds work at relaxing the muscles of their jaw and throat until they can work their way around the fish. You will see several pauses while this fledgling heron goes utterly still – I think that is when he is resting and allowing his muscles to stretch. That’s my take on the situation. He also occasionally dips the fish back into the water to keep it wet and maintain its slipperiness. The whole episode took more than 10 minutes … I have put up only the last part of the heron’s work. As to the trash, I wish people were more careful about the environment and took their trash out with them.

 

Jordan Dam, Haw River: I had seen the black vulture flock come into the parking lot earlier.  They are always looking for left over hotdogs and fried chicken pieces. They are quite adept at taking the lids off the trashcans and helping themselves to the human throw-aways that are inside.  My attention was drawn back to the vultures when I heard the lid of the trashcan hit the pavement.  I started photographing as one of the younger vultures noticed the sign … I could almost hear him thinking, “my friend is stuck in the trashcan, he needs help, and well, just how am I supposed to dial 911 when I don’t have an iPhone?”.  I put my camera down, quietly walked up on the flock, gently tipped the trashcan over on its side freeing the vulture inside of it. The flock chirred their thanks and we watched the embarrassed vulture walk away.  Sometimes, you just never know what will happen at the lake…

Jordan Lake, Haw River: Great blue herons are actually gray, until, just until you see them, literally in the right light. Such as finding this fledgling great blue heron this morning in the shadows of the banks of the riprap as the sun had fully cleared the horizon. Azure blue air, water and heron!