Prey remains on the egg
Will tonight be the night for a second egg at Decorah? Either way, we’ll be celebrating eggs with our first egg fundraiser tomorrow from 8am to 8pm! Join us at our website for chat (https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/) or here to hang out, have fun, and talk with other eagleholics in thread. We look forward to seeing you!
There was some concern about two things in Decorah today. At one point, the Decorah egglet had blood on it. As alarming as it looked, it did not come from the egg – the egg was just laid and is not nearly vascularized enough to produce that much blood. The embryonic eagle’s heart isn’t fully formed yet and won’t begin beating until about 10:32 PM tonight! So what happened? It’s not uncommon for the eagles to leave blood on their eggs when they roll them with a bloody beak – remember, they don’t have napkins to wipe lunch away – or drip prey remains on them. Mom had just eaten and left a little lunch behind on her egg!
So how about the rather long interval that the egg was left alone? We don’t know why the eagles sometimes spend what seems like an awful lot of time off their eggs, but we do know that Mom has a lot of experience incubating eggs and doesn’t need to hunt for herself with DM2 there to help incubate and provision. Perhaps the egg was very wet and needed to dry off? Eagles need to control temperature and humidity, and sometimes it is a struggle to do both at the same time. At any rate, the egg is very early in development, which means it suspends well in the cold. We’re going to trust the eagles – with a little added talon crossing that things will go well for them this year! Go eagles!
Now for tonight’s Nestflix from Decorah and Decorah North! Enjoy the videos, SED (sweet eagle dreams), and we’ll see you tomorrow morning!
2/25/19: 4:10 pm Mom closeups, DM2 on the Y – https://youtu.be/EUQG6BklxZs. Beautiful close-ups of Mom incubating on a snowy day.
2/24/19: A look at the egg – https://youtu.be/nL0QA9U4yN8. Go to 1:38 to get a nice look at the egg cradled deep in the nest bowl. The camera moves in closer around 2:17.
2/23/19: Is DM2 New to Egg Rolling-First Incubation-New Beginnings – https://youtu.be/tRVHSxL5kBc. While we don’t know for sure that this is DM2’s first nest, what we know about eagles tells us that it sure could be. After Mom leaves, DM2 hovers over the egg, balling his feet and moving with great care. He almost seems a little hesitant about turning itm opening his beak slightly and probing it before getting the hang of things, rolling it under, and concluding with a classic Decorah Shimmy! At 4:32, he grabs a clump of grass and moves it around in front of him, something we have often seen in cold weather. At 7:08, he gets up very carefully. He gets up a few more times to arrange the egg. Mom brings in more nest materials at 13:05 and takes over!
2/23/19: DM2 closeups, egg roll – https://youtu.be/1m-EPAjET24. Wow – there are some very nice close-ups of DM2 starting at 4:25 in this video!
Decorah Eagles North
2/25/19: DNF casting a pellet, 6.53AM eggroll and COG – https://youtu.be/Iu_mk66RaXs. I’ve seen falcon and bald eagle pellets, and bald eagle pellets are very large! This is a great look at pellet casting, or regurgitating undigestible materials that are squeezed together into a pellet. We don’t get much of a look at DNF’s eggs because the bowl is very deep. As much as it might bug us not to see the eggs, it is nice to know they are safe and warm in their cozy egg cup!
2/25/19: 2nd egg – https://youtu.be/JzPt9DegxcA. You can almost see both eggs – start watching at around 44 seconds!
2/24/19: Incubating during stormy weather – https://youtu.be/h_wkAN5Vywo. This video has some really great scenes of incubation, weather, and switchovers. It’s a cold, windy day, but Mr. North and DNF do an egg-cellent job caring for their eggs!
2/24/19: Female lays second egg – https://youtu.be/oQHlCBluLEQ. This is an excellent example of how bald eagles cope with difficult weather. DNF remains lower in the bowl than we are used to seeing with eagles in egg-labor. When she is done, she very briefly gets up, rolls the eggs underneath her, and settles right back down – giving us no time to confirm that she’d laid an egg. The egg cup is very deep and she and Mr. North kept everything covered during the windstorm, so we didn’t get a glimpse of egg #2 until this morning!
2/23/19: Braving the winter storm – https://youtu.be/r-eUZcd_vNU. We know that eagles have over 7000 feathers, that they are well-adapted to cold, that the egg cup was excellently prepared by Mr. North and DNF, and that snow acts as an insulator. We know she is very well-insulated since when she stands up, the snow doesn’t cling but slides right off her. Still, it’s hard not to feel sorry for her. Go eagles!