March 14, 2019: Nest news and Nestflix!

Falcons are coming back all over the place! Newman returned to GSB on February 15th. He was temporarily joined by an unbanded female falcon that forum users christened ‘Cheeky’, but Michelle returned today and presumably showed the interloper the door! Ice-out is imminent on the Flyway cam and watchers are reporting hearing Canada Geese and other birds as spring tide starts flowing northward along the Big River. Worried about mice in our eagle nests? They are not a threat to eagle eggs based on everything we know about mice and eggs. You can read more about that here:

Settle back with a snack and your favorite beverage for tonight’s Nestflix! In Decorah, we have mouse camping, Mombrella, rain-soaked feathers, and close-ups. At GSB, Michelle makes an appearance and Newman welcomes her back. I especially loved Mombrella protecting her eggs from the rain, rain-soaked feathers, and seeing Michelle once again! I can’t say that I loved the raccoon at Great Spirit Bluff, but it is fascinating to watch them on the steep, icy slopes. Roll film, and thanks to all of the camera operators and video makers who share special moments in the nest with all of us!

Decorah Eagles
3/13/19: Mice running in and our from under Mom’s tailfeathers – This may be the driest spot on the nest, with the exception of the egg cup, but still – the mouse party is crazy! What are they doing there? They appear to be gleaning food from the bottom of the nestbowl.
3/13/19: Mom keeps the nestbowl dry – This time of the year, rain can be a lot more challenging the snow! Mombrella spreads her wings wide to direct the flow of water away from the eggs beneath her, wiggling, rolling, and checking the eggs as she does so. Her dedication can be seen in every dripping feather as the nest gets wet, but the eggs stay dry! #SuperMom #Mombrella
3/13/19: Mom closeups, DM2 on the Y – Extraordinary views of Mom’s wet plumage! We talk a lot about how waterproof eagles are – and that is a good thing, because it is wet wet wet after a day of rain! Jump to 10 minutes for a view of the rain-swollen creek below N1.
3/12/19: DM2 close-ups, diamonds on his back – You can watch the whole video – we get some great views of DM2! – or go straight to 5:07 to see the diamonds on his back. See how the water beads instead of flowing underneath his feathers? Feathers ‘zip’ together to form a (mostly) watertight surface that keeps the wet on the outside and the warm on the inside! DM2’s diamonds are a beautiful example of just how watertight his feathers are!
3/12/19: Close-ups of DM2 and a brave starling – Nice egg close-ups, great DM2 close-ups, and a starling appearing to eat snow on the Skywalk! We can hear other birds in the background, but – unusually – the starling remains silent.
Great Spirit Bluff
03/13/19: Newman and Michelle nookie – She’s back for another year!
03/12/19: Newman watching raccoons at Great Spirit Bluff – Wow! We’ve seen woodchucks on the bluff, and we’ve found scat, but this is the first time we see the raccoon themselves. I’m not especially thrilled to see them, but their ambling on the steep icy slope had me at the edge of my seat. It appears they are denning up in a pothole not far from nestbox. Fortunately, the nestbox is extremely safe from raccoon and Newman is very aware of their presence.