Cam on date: October 7th!

It has been a busy couple of weeks for us in Decorah! We started camera work at 9:00am on September 13th and finished up at roughly 7:00pm on the evening of September 22nd. The crew had moments of joy, a little hand-wringing, and no small amount of sweating in the unusual 90+ degree heat that prevailed almost the entire time we were there. We saw Mom and Dad Decorah sitting in a maple tree, fishing in the pond, and perched in a few favorite spots between N1 and N2B, and Mom and Dad North across the field and (briefly) by the nest. Equipment installers, troubleshooters, and all-arounders John Howe, Kike (Kee-Kay) Arnal, Richard Meredith, Amy Ries, and Dave Kester removed old equipment, installed new equipment, cleaned things up, and got everything cabled just in time for Kike’s last day with us. Thanks to the trout hatchery for providing fishy treats to the eagles at both nests!

Looking forward to watching the eagles? Prepare your snacks and get the housework done now, because we plan to turn the cameras back on on October 7th! Read the list below for more details on what we got done over the last couple of weeks, or browse the photo gallery!

John worked his tail off getting cameras and microphones ready! John worked his tail off getting cameras and microphones ready! Kike and Richard. Work started between 8 and 9am and went until after dark every day. Kike and Richard. Work started between 8 and 9am and went until after dark every day. Dave Kester at the blind. This is an old blind that we are using as a pigeon coop. It is spacious, comfortable, and cool even in hot weather. Dave Kester at the blind. This is an old blind that we are using as a pigeon coop. It is spacious, comfortable, and cool even in hot weather. I'm trying to give everyone a feel for how crowded the workspace could get. Between climbing and camera equipment, there wasn't a lot of room in the nest. I am on a limb across from N2B. I'm trying to give everyone a feel for how crowded the workspace could get. Between climbing and camera equipment, there wasn't a lot of room in the nest. I am on a limb across from N2B. Richard Meredith works on a cam for N2B. Richard Meredith works on a cam for N2B. View from the top, N2B! View from the top, N2B! A view of Decorah North from the side. The yellow line is our climbing rope. A view of Decorah North from the side. The yellow line is our climbing rope. Decorah North from below! Decorah North from below! I'm hoping this gives everyone an idea of the distance from the camera to the nest at DNN. The nest is at left and Kike is at the right. He is building a platform to make working on the camera a little easier. I'm hoping this gives everyone an idea of the distance from the camera to the nest at DNN. The nest is at left and Kike is at the right. He is building a platform to make working on the camera a little easier. A close-up at Decorah North. The 4x4 and 2x4 were bolted to the tree. We cut 3/4-inch three strand plywood for flooring. Unfortunately, it was a little bouncier than we really liked. We'll use something different the next time we do this! A close-up at Decorah North. The 4x4 and 2x4 were bolted to the tree. We cut 3/4-inch three strand plywood for flooring. Unfortunately, it was a little bouncier than we really liked. We'll use something different the next time we do this! Even the eagles farm in Iowa! A corn stalk growing from Decorah North. Even the eagles farm in Iowa! A corn stalk growing from Decorah North. A busy workspace! It takes a lot of stuff to get the job done! Note that Bob's curtains still hang in the window. A busy workspace! It takes a lot of stuff to get the job done! Note that Bob's curtains still hang in the window. Prey remains from the North Nest. We'll get a blog together, but notice all of the fawn deer hooves in the bucket! Prey remains from the North Nest. We'll get a blog together, but notice all of the fawn deer hooves in the bucket! A close-up of one of the hooves. A close-up of one of the hooves. Not much room left on N1! Not much room left on N1! Kike Arnal climbing at N2B. It was the highest of the three nests we worked in this week. Kike Arnal climbing at N2B. It was the highest of the three nests we worked in this week. We got to go to Neil and Laura's one night. Left to right: Kike, Neil, Laura, John. We had a lot of fun (and Laura is an amazing cook)! We got to go to Neil and Laura's one night. Left to right: Kike, Neil, Laura, John. We had a lot of fun (and Laura is an amazing cook)! Amy on her way up to N2B, photo by Kike Arnal! Amy on her way up to N2B, photo by Kike Arnal! John near the pasture cam! John near the pasture cam! I liked this photo from N2B. I liked this photo from N2B. John with a little snack for Mom and Dad Decorah! John with a little snack for Mom and Dad Decorah! Kike showing off a camera at N2B. Kike showing off a camera at N2B. I liked the maple tree at the hatchery. The leaves were beginning to change for fall! I liked the maple tree at the hatchery. The leaves were beginning to change for fall! A nice job of cabling. Everything needs to protected from weather, wet, squirrels, mice, and cattle at Decorah North! A nice job of cabling. Everything needs to protected from weather, wet, squirrels, mice, and cattle at Decorah North! Kike and Richard at Command Central! Kike and Richard at Command Central! Kike Arnal having a good time on N2B! Kike Arnal having a good time on N2B! Dave Kester takes down a box elder tree! He didn't have Babe the Blue Ox, but the cows were very happy with the new forage. Dave Kester takes down a box elder tree! He didn't have Babe the Blue Ox, but the cows were very happy with the new forage. Dave Kester working on the new pasture cam. This will provide some very cool views at Decorah North! Dave Kester working on the new pasture cam. This will provide some very cool views at Decorah North!

Decorah Eagles

N1 tree and former nest:
We replaced the microphone on the 30x PTZ camera installed in 2016, added a high quality microphone up in the tree near the Y-branch that will serve as a backup, and cleaned the lenses on both the PTZ camera and the variable zoom bullet cam.

N2B tree & active nest:
We cleaned the lens and adjusted the microphone on the 30x PTZ camera installed in 2016, replaced the original 12x zoom PTZ camera installed in 2015 with a 30x zoom PTZ and new microphone, and replaced the original variable zoom bullet cam installed in 2015 with a 4K variable zoom bullet cam and new microphone. We also installed 2 high quality directional microphones to add audio options at N2B and serve as the primary audio source, and placed new camera and microphone cabling in conduit. It might sound funny to add that, but the cabling takes an enormous amount of work to place correctly!

Decorah North Nest

DN nest tree and active nest:
We cleaned the lenses on both the PTZ camera and the variable zoom bullet cams installed in 2015, removed the higher PTZ camera and microphone installed in 2016 that were not working correctly, re-positioned the IR light source, installed 2 high quality directional microphones to add audio options at DN, installed a new 30x PTZ camera to the right of the original camera view and about 8 feet closer to the nest, and placed the new camera and microphone cabling in conduit.

Pasture cam:
We installed a 32x PTZ camera on a tree along the north side of the pasture to allow better views of the eagles perched in the trees along the creek. This cam will allow year-round unobstructed views of the eagles after vegetation fills in around the nest. We also removed a tree that was obstructing views of the eagle perch areas from this new location, and placed new camera and microphone cabling in conduit.