Whatta day, as Sherri Elliott used to say! The eaglets at both Decorah nests are growing like weeds, eating like piglets, sprouting clown clompers, and beginning to take cues not just from parents, but from the wider world around them. I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed DN9 flapping its tiny wings, cowghetti for lunch, and an attempted tandem feeding by Mom and DM2. We cannot thank the camera operators and video makers enough for sharing these amazing, sqeee-worthy nest moments with all of us!
Before we get into the videos, we wanted to address the comments and questions about D33 being smaller because it is not getting enough food. Remember, D33 is three days younger than D32. The eaglets gain right around 2 pounds in their second week, which comes out to about 4.5 ounces per day. Right now, a standard eaglet growth curve is going to put D32 about 13 ounces, or almost a pound, ahead of D33. That is a lot of weight! Height gain is similarly rapid as the eaglets grow like weeds under the influence of their protein and calorie rich diet, reaching one foot tall right around 14 days. D33 isn’t little because D32 is stealing all the food – D33 is little because of the difference in age between the two eaglets.
We featured the Decorah North eagles today. You’ll find the Decorah Eagles right below them. Thanks for watching, everyone!
04/15/19: Omg! DN9 You Are 2 Cute, Doing Wing Flaps – https://youtu.be/VcQSoOvQy3M. DN9 is 15 days old today. Its grey natal down is quite apparent and it is hitting the stage where its beak looks just a little too big for its face (its beak, as measured by the culmen, is in its steepest growth curve right now)! As DN9 gains balance, coordination, and strength, a whole world opens up…including wingercizing! In this unbelivably cute video, DN9 flaps its little grey wings vigorously. After you’ve watched it in full speed, I recommend slowing down the video for a good look at its wings – which are clearly longer and larger than they were just a few days ago! 4/15/19: Cuteness alert – https://youtu.be/PSrkiGPFo4g. Heart be still! There is some wonderful footage in here, including preening (1:27’ish), DN9 tracking something we can’t see (throughout, off and on – we hear geese at one point), more preening (3:12’ish), a little stumble (6:04), exploration and playing with nest materials (starts at 6:43), and – where did you get those clown clompers, DN9? At just over 15 days of age, DN9’s foot growth is taking off! 4/15/19: Cowghetti for lunch – https://youtu.be/1C8E7W6IlDE. I remember the first time we saw cowghetti in the nest. “What is THAT?” we asked. It is cow placenta! Cows are calving right now and the placenta is an easy-to-catch, low-risk meal full of nutrition! DNF starts pulling it apart (making the reason for the nickname clear) when Mr. North flies in with a talonfull of grass. He begins to spread it while she looks around, vocalizing and leaving the nest at 2:02. Mr. North watches while DN9 alternately plays with a cornhusk and watches his Dad, who takes over the food. Check out that cropzilla at 3:27 as DN9 struggles to its feet. It is hard to believe DN9 can stand! We get some nice close-ups starting at about 4:12, including some funny footage of DN9’s twitching rump and DN9 getting seriously into the cowghetti at about 6:39. 4/15/19: Shift change, eaglets grew overnight – https://youtu.be/_d-IFO8R6Vs. Where did these big eaglets come from? Mom feeds two hungry little peaglets (both of them get food) to – well, I think it looks like bursting but they would clearly eat more! 4/15/19: Mom With Fish&Tandem Feeding Attempt By DM2 – https://youtu.be/JT5Ct8MxsWI. It’s interesting and instructive to watch Mom and DM2 feed eaglets together. Mom’s an old hand at feeding eaglets, with expert food prep and delivery skills! DM2 makes a couple of tries, but D33 quickly turns to Mom at 1:38 when DM2 fails to deliver food fast enough! Take a look at 2:43 to see how big the bites are getting! The eaglets are larger, their beaks are larger, they understand how to manipulate food better, and they can see the bites coming! 4/15/19: DM2 delivers rabbit, Mom demos defurring – https://youtu.be/MTQKXbV0Ois. DM2 comes in with a squirrel and Mom quickly defurs it! The eaglets watch her demo with a great deal of interest as the fur flies. What is Mom doing? When will dinner be delivered? How can D32 even think of eating with that cropzilla!