The Xcel Fort Saint Vrain eagles hatched their first egg last night at 9:43 PM MT! We start hatch watch in Decorah North on March 30th and hatch watch in Decorah on March 31st – although keep in mind that hatch could start a little earlier or a little later. We don’t know which egg broke in Decorah, so that could impact hatch timing as well. Once we have a pip, we’ll let everyone know!
We’re also looking for an egg at Dairyland Power Genoa, where the female falcon is showing signs of impending laying, GSB (Michelle has laid her first egg as early as March 27, although she laid number one on March 30 last year), more hatches at FSV, and migrating birds on the Flyway cam! We’re seeing a lot of eagles there, along with flocks of waterbirds like American White Pelicans, Canada Geese, Bufflehead Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Ring-billed Herons, and so much more! Regular watchers will also see that the water appears to be getting a little higher and slightly more turbulent. We don’t have serious flooding yet, but the waters are building north.
We had a lot of concern yesterday afternoon about something being caught in DM2’s throat. While it appears he swallowed a fish that was a little too big for him, he got it down. Even as he was trying to swallow it, he was alert and looking around. He was also able to fly away with no problem when Mom came in for the evening shift change. It’s helpful to look for behaviors like that if you are trying to evaluate the health of an animal remotely. Had he been in true respiratory distress, he would have concentrated on getting the fish up and out, with no looking around or flying away. We hope he’s learned his lesson about gobbling food!
Today’s mega-roll includes videos from the Decorah and Decorah Eagle nests. I hope you like them as much as we did! Thanks as always to our camera operators and video makers for all they do to show us life in the nests, for the volunteers on all of our platforms who share stories and knowledge of nest life, and to you for watching and caring with us! Have a great day!
3/25/19: DM2 close-ups, panting – https://youtu.be/4aVUoBRCIt4
. We get a lot of questions about panting. Since eagles can’t sweat, they pant to cool down. The day was warm and there isn’t any leaf cover yet, so our eagles warm up quickly even when we think it seems cool. We’d feel hot if we were wearing a down jacket like he is!
3/25/19: Mom arrives with a new husk – https://youtu.be/IDm99Yy3Pk0
. The more husks, the better! We get a cool fly-in that starts from the lower right at around 2:26 as Mom circles around to gain lift and fly into the nest. She arrives at 2:34 with the new delivery from Nest Depot and we get a nice look at the eggs before she shimmes over them and starts fiddling and fine-tuning soft nesting materials.
3/24/19: Shift change – https://youtu.be/tXkd33KA05U
. DM2 starts calling for a shift change around one minute. Mom arrives at the Skywalk at 1:51. She waits until DM2 gets up at 3:18. We get a really nice look at both eggs at about 3:34, nestled deeply inside their soft, cozy egg cup. We get a really cool close-up at 3:51 as Mom settles over the eggs, including a wonderful glimpse of her loosely held feet. She shimmies over the eggs and starts fiddling with nest materials.
3/23/19: Lil Bird visitor and nice fly-in, Mom – https://youtu.be/_0jHRU67Ynk
. What looks like a house sparrow is on the left side of the nest. Mom flies in and it leaves very quickly! Slow the video down for a very cool look at how quickly the little bird hightails it out of there, and how Mom puts on the airbrakes to gently drop into the nest.
3/22/19: DM2 portrait shots – https://youtu.be/xksC0xV_1ik
. For everyone who can’t get enough of DM2! Great portrait shots and you have to wonder what he’s looking at beginning at 5:01. Turn up the audio to hear other birds in the background!
3/21/19: Glorious evening light and color – https://youtu.be/gESYeBmiFAQ
. Exactly what the title says! Mom incubates at twilight. Her golden beak, brown plumage, and bright eyes softly glow in the blue and rose twilight.
Decorah North Eagles
3/26/19: Who’s There Don’t Come Any Closer – https://youtu.be/yrg0MwfsvUY
. Given the sounds of migrating Canada geese in the background, I’m guessing that migrants were flying through the valley! We get great looks at Mr. North as he alertly tracks something overhead.
3/25/19: Sandhill crane flyby long – https://youtu.be/GPYPsrMUhR0
. Watch and listen to the whole video, or go to 2:52 to hear and then see the Sandhill cranes fly by.
3/25/19: Early morning – https://youtu.be/yaHGLbtpKGI
. DNF is incubating under IR candlelight. She gets up, stretches, and calls for a shift change. Check the eagle yoga starting at 8:51! He doesn’t come in, so she settles back down. He flies in at 10:42, but now she doesn’t seem to want to move. She gets up at 11:37 and he takes over. We get a really lovely look at the valley at 14:05 as Red-winged blackbirds start to sing!
3/24/19: Mr Brings DNF BreakFish, Grasses&Shift Change – https://youtu.be/0GOXEoKrnJk
. The quickest way to a female eagle’s heart is through her stomach! Mr. North brings a fish and DNF puts on the teakettle. He hands it over and she devours it. Once breakfish is over, she returns to incubation! Look for great close-ups of DNF at the end of the video and listen for Red-winged blackbirds throughout.
3/23/19: Amazing golden sunrise and closeups – https://youtu.be/IdR4xweL0P0. This is a really lovely video! Frost speckles Mr. North’s plumage. After the camera operator gives us some great views of him gilded by the golden light of the rising sun, we get a look at the wider valley and the nest before returning to Mr. North. You can just barely see the nest supports sticking out at lower right at 7:40 – a good guide to just how much building the eagles have done!