Today’s big story? Wind! Did you cover your eyes? Turn away from the computer? Plaintively ask or loudly demand that the wind stop? Our eagles and falcons are pros at handling windy weather and our nest trees are sturdy, but the wind rodeo had nests rocking, hearts pumping, and mice clicking as we tried to brush eaglets back into the egg cup and shoo the wind away!
We liked all of these videos, but we were so impressed by DM2 corralling D32, Mom’s windy feeding, and the North nest rocking and rolling in a very high wind! Mom Decorah, DM2, Mr. North, and DNF amazed us all with their skill, dedication, and ability to ride the storm out!
A thousand thanks to our camera operators and video makers for catching and sharing today’s thrilling moments!
4/11/19 DM2 Takes Over & Eaglet Gets Out Of Nest Bowl. DM2 Gets Eaglet Back In – https://youtu.be/SqMyPWnaLAk. The video opens with Mom carefully leaving the nest with a cool, multi-stage fly-out. The eaglets are alone in the nest cup. DM2 flies from the Skywalk at 1:25 and a little beak bonking battle breaks out before DM2 settles in. At 3:23, the eaglets start squirming, causing DM2 to get up and readjust. But things stay rowdy in the romper room and D32 makes a break for it! Check 5:49 for an extremely cute moment with D32 lying right next to DM2 like it’s a big eagle! The exploring continues until 6:42, when DM2 scoots forward in the nest and manages to round his eaglet up! Nice job, DM2! D32, behave!
4/11/19: Mom feeds in the wind – https://youtu.be/z–QdDY00nM. It’s a little windy throughout, but the wind really starts kicking about two minutes into the video. The nest rocks back and forth and Mom’s feathers blow in the breeze as she feeds, keeping her wings tucked in tightly, her tail down, and her talons tightly clutched on the fish. After the feeding is over, she very carefully walks across the nest (start at about 3:24 for the whole sequence), stumbling once as a gust catches her. She begins struggling with the wind at 3:36, although she deftly avoids putting D32 and D33 in harm’s way. It’s alarming but also very cool to see her plane her wings and ride the breeze beginning at 3:41. The wind diminishes long enough to let her settle back over her eaglets at the end of the video.
4/11/19: Mom feeds 32, then 33; PS – https://youtu.be/UDJwQMsu9v4. Mom gets up to feed D32 and D33, moving carefully in the wind. A brief but not very intense beak bonking battle follows. D33 quickly submits and D32 PS’s, splashing the crib rails behind it! Mom gets some fish the the refrigerator and starts prepping lunch while D32 watches intently. D32 feeds while D33 sits back up. Another beak bonk follows and D33 submits, but gets right back up. After D32 gobbles down several bites, Mom walks around to feed little D33. Tulsa wrote: “Does this remind anyone else of the way Dad Decorah used to feed? He would feed the older sib first, get him or her full, then move to the younger one to feed. Warmed my heart to see this – she walked all the way around D32 to get closer to 33 and feed uninterrupted.” It warmed my heart, too!
4/11/19: D32 pecks at Mom as she gets up – https://youtu.be/Ehq1d6ux_z8. Short but funny! Growing eaglets are always hungry and D32 takes a lunge at Mom’s feathers as she gets up. Feathers are friends, not food!
4/10/19: Mom’s Back Scratcher Stick-Lightening & Wind-Stick Blows Away – https://youtu.be/UlpWLax0R_o. Mom was sleeping deeply when a storm began. The lightning flashes and distant thunder didn’t wake her up, but something around 3:15 did! She went back to sleep and didn’t wake up even when wind caused the stick to gently rub against her. At 8:02, wind lifts the stick entirely off her! It drops off the nest at 8:14, startling her awake.
Decorah North Eagles
4/11/19: DNF feeding DN9 Riding the wild wind – https://youtu.be/zS558xJpIzw. You need to have some real tolerance for a rolling rolicking ride to watch this video. I’ve been in nests when it is windy, but never this windy. The movement is three dimensional as the nest rocks forward, backward, and up and down, occasionally seeming to twist a little bit. DNF hangs on and feeds DN9, a cowgirl riding a bucking bull in a wind rodeo. A gust of nearly 60 mph was recorded at the Decorah airport today. This may have been higher.
4/11/19: Mr.North Feeds DN9: Mr.North Feeds DN9 – https://youtu.be/tLAHGoVqusI. We get a great look at DN9, who turned 11 days old today, starting at 51 seconds. The eaglet is larger, more coordinated, and beginning to sprout thermal down. Mr. North is feeding larger bites that include scales and multi-part chunks as DN9 gets better at feeding. We even get a nice look at a stuffed not-so-little crop in the second minute of the video as DN9 wolfs (eagles?) down bite after bite of fish! The feeding over, Mr. North settles down over his eaglet.
If you made it this far – I just got off the phone with Kike (Kee-Kay) Arnal, the mastermind behind the North Nest and one of two primary builders of N2B. He pointed out that this was how the first nest fell! While water played a part, the first nest fell in very high winds that lashed the branches apart left and right and up and down. We’re glad we tied things down tightly and we’re looking forward to calmer weather!