From John Howe: A message regarding Dad Decorah

I’d like to start this message to you all with my own acknowledgement of admiration for Dad Decorah, who has captivated the hearts and minds of so many. For over 10 years, he has served as the subject of enjoyment, education, and wonder for millions of people, while being an eagle partner to Mom Decorah and Dad to many eaglets. It is amazing to think that after the successful fledge of D29, D30 and D31, he will have brought so many fish to the nest, gathered and shimmied so many eaglets underneath him, and delivered so many eaglet meals to 31 eaglets that we know! After so many hours of gazing at this beautiful creature, I have to share a photo of him tending to his young and keeping them safe with Mom Decorah during the recent snowstorms.
To the best of our knowledge, Dad Decorah has been missing since Thursday morning. We are doing our best to answer the question – “what happened to Dad?”. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that helped in the search for Dad Decorah on Friday, Saturday, and into a portion of Sunday. We had over 20 people there to help with the efforts, including the Decorah Fire Department Search & Rescue Team. That includes people that were able to be physically present and those that were not, but were helping behind the scenes. It really came in handy to have Incident Commander experience assembling and managing emergency response spill crews in a prior career. We train to be thorough, methodical, and keep good communication channels open and that is exactly what the larger reconnaissance team did Saturday morning. Local residents, volunteers, and RRP staff set out to search the grounds from the immediate nest area all the way out to the perimeter of the valley. We scoured the normal roost and perch areas that Dad Decorah frequented. Highways and focus points like road-kill along them were targeted. The Decorah Fire Department also used their drone experts to check out some of the more challenging areas. We did not encounter any sign of him up to this point.
We will continue monitoring the situation at N2B while the new nest dynamics play out. Thank you all for your understanding during this difficult time, as we do our best to figure out what happened and observe a new reality that is unfolding before our eyes. We know that Mom is strong, experienced, and we are pulling for her success…..and we are in this together as we have always been. That is what has made this group of eagle followers special. Our human emotions and attachment to these amazing creatures cannot be denied. Having said that, we all have the opportunity to witness nature unscripted and unedited. It is an opportunity to understand and become connected to the natural world through “our eagles”.
Again, thank you for your care, concern, and support of these very special bald eagles and the world-wide educational effort they allow us to provide.
John Howe, Director
Raptor Resource Project