August 23, 2016: Day Trip to Decorah

8-23-16 ~ Day Trip to Decorah
Story, photos and video by Robin Brumm

As a friend of mine said, I got up at “don’t look at the time, O’clock”, lol, and headed to Decorah. When I got there, Dad was on the Y branch. I could hear a juvie squeeing but didn’t see it. I parked my car and walked over to N1. Dad was gone and the juvie was flying off the Y to the maple tree, so I walked back toward the maple to take some photos. The juvie stayed for a bit and then flew off. As he raised his wings to take off, I saw a band on the left leg which confirmed … it was D25!

Both Mom and Dad made a stop at the maple, before they flew to the bluff and perched there. I got out my lawn chair and settled in, and as I was watching the parents, I heard a squee coming from behind me. I turned around and D25 was on the maple. I took some photos and then looked at the parents in the bluff. All of a sudden, I saw something out of the corner of my eye … D25 had swooped down from the maple, caught a fish along the edge of the retention pond, and continued on toward the east. He circled around and landed in the tree in the horse pasture to eat his catch! Yay!!! D25 caught a fish! But shoot, I was looking toward the bluff and didn’t have my camera ready!

I went to get a photo of D25 eating his fish but he must have gulped it down in 3 or 4 bites because he was feaking (cleaning) his beak when I got there. D25 stayed in that tree for about an hour and then snuck out the back door. After 1 1/2 hours, he flew to the maple. He only stayed for a couple of minutes, then took off, circled around the area, and headed back behind N1. Shortly after that, Dad came flying in and D25 came squeeing in right behind him. D25 landed on the maple while Dad circled around the pond and landed next to him. As you can see in this photo, D25 was all puffy, noisy, and looks twice as big as Dad.

Dad looked at the pond, swooped down, circled around, but then flew off toward the west. D25 stayed on the maple for awhile and made three attempts to fish but didn’t catch anything. He flew to several trees in the area, but came back to the maple each time. Finally, on his next attempt, he swooped down and caught another fish, and flew to a dead tree behind a house near the bluff to enjoy his meal before flying back to the maple.

By now it was starting to get late and I needed to leave. I hate leaving when they are perched on the maple, so I stayed an extra 15 minutes while D25 was eyeing the pond. Finally I got in my car and of course, D25 took off, circled the retention pond and landed back on the maple. I, of course, jumped out of my car when he took off, but wasn’t able to get any photos. I waited a few more minutes, then got in my car, and guess what? He took off again, flew over the retention pond and back to the maple! I think he was teasing me! Anyway, I was really late, so this time I got in my car and actually left!

On my way home, I wondered where D24 was. I hadn’t seen him all day. I also wondered if I would see D25 the next time I went to Decorah. I know it’s time for them to disperse. It’s that time of year when my heart swells and breaks at the same time. I am so proud of them. They are doing so well, but I know it’s time for them to go. Now, if only I can fledge myself!

~Your wings were ready… but my heart was not <3 ~

Update: 8/26/16 & 8/28/16 ~ I went back to Decorah on Friday and Sunday. On Friday I saw both parents in the trees on the bluff. I did not see D24 or D25. I went back on Sunday for just a couple of hours, and saw one parent in the bluff. I took a few photos and video of the flooded areas around the nest. The area underneath N2B has been flattened by the water rushing from the creek, which flowed across the bike path and into the corn field. There were quite a few trees down in different areas I passed by, but everything looked good around both N1, N2B and the hatchery. I’m glad that the nests are okay, but some places in the Decorah area were hit pretty hard, and they will be cleaning up for awhile. My thoughts are with all those affected by the flood.

Look at the thread just below this one for current Tracking Maps for D24 & D25.

** RRP appreciates Robin’s generosity in sharing her photos and reminds you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written permission.

Robin’s photos:

Robin’s videos:
8-28-16 Flooded area along trout run creek

8-28-16 flooded areas of N2B: