April 18, 2019: News and Nestflix!

We have yet another new egg – this time at the kestrel nest box! We had just turned the camera on this morning when she went into egg layer and quickly delivered egg number one. She should lay three to four more eggs, usually a day apart, until she completes the clutch. We may her on the eggs once in a while, but she won’t go into full incubation until the penultimate egg is laid – very similar to peregrine falcons, who don’t begin full incubation until the third egg in a four egg clutch, and often a fourth egg in a five egg clutch.

Thanks for everyone who helped us commemorate Dad Decorah today. We had a wonderful time reading your memories and sharing our own. One of the things we love is how many people’s lives are touched by the eagles. You reminded us of that once again.

If we get too many more of these, we’re going to need a larger theater! We have spectacular looks at D32 and D33, a food fest chow down that includes Mom taking back a bite that was a little too big, pop-up eaglets, DN9 self-feeding, an extremely cute ‘cover me, Pop-tent!’ and egg-laying and a snake snack at the kestrel nestbox. Sometimes I can pick favorites, but I liked all of these. Thanks to our camera operators and video-makers for finding and sharing special moments in the nests with us!

Decorah Eagles
4/18/19: Adorable eaglet close-ups – https://youtu.be/DT0yIugt61o. Enjoy the little bobbleheads now, because they are about to get big! This video has spectacular close-ups of D32 snoozing under DM2. It opens with a look at DM2 in the nest. Things get pokey as D32 squirms out from underneath, eventually settling in under Poptent. We get great close-ups of D32’s eyes, fuzzy head, cere and nares, commissure, beak, and egg tooth. It was really relaxing to watch the eaglets – we get to see a tiny bit of D33, too – snoozing under DM2 without a care in the world!
4/18/19: D32 and D33 are chowing down! https://youtu.be/fnaV_1TNFCE. Remember those tiny little morsels of food that Mom tore off so carefully for her hatchling eaglets and put into their beaks? Those days are gone! D32 and D33 are reaching to take large pieces and beginning to devour chunks that include fur, skin, and scales. Check the video at 1:52 to see Mom offer D33 a piece that is just a little too large and then pull it back and give it to D32! At the end of the feeding, both eaglets are stuffed!
Take a look around 1:27 for a great example of what just three days means in terms of growth and development! D32 is larger by quite a bit, but also a lot further along in gaining thermal down. It is much greyer and just starting to get the beginnings of its mohawk. Little D33 still has a fluffy white head with grey thermal down just beginning to poke through in places.
4/18/19: Remember Dad Decorah Commemorative Anniversary – https://youtu.be/CRaaUgf5Nn8. A really nice commemmorative video by chickiedee. She tells the story and goes into a slideshow that relieves some great moments in the life of Dad.
4/18/19: DM2 leaves the nest and returns with a fish in only two minutes! https://youtu.be/ln2YJdoi5GU. The race is on. Nice job, DM2!
4/17/19: Pop-up eaglets – https://youtu.be/0rMSm7wpxSQ. I really enjoyed this video! D33 (left) and D32 (right) are snoozing in a comfy cozy cuddle pile! Suddenly D33 pops up and stretches its little neck! It preens its down a little and looks around while D32 continues to sleep off its last large meal! At 3:33, the two eaglets look at one another (check out those adorable little wings!) and go into a staring stand-off, which ends in a dominance display. D33 submits and D32 ‘stands’ straight up, giving us a great look at its greyish underside and bulgy little crop! A clown-clomper with taupe talons comes into view at 3:43. D32 pops up and down several more times, at one point seeming to watch the flies that are attracted to the prey pile at the bottom of N2B!
Decorah North
4/18/19: Mr. Flies In With Fish, DNF Feeds DN9 – https://youtu.be/6AmyRtZKUUY. Mr. North’s fly-in is very cool! He lands in the nest and DNF teakettles for fish. Does this remind anyone of Mom? Mr. North knows the score – he drops the fish and takes off! DNF gives DN9 a nice long feeding in a wind-blown nest!
4/18/19: DN9 Tries Casting Pellet & Eats NestOver – https://youtu.be/JgpMuwvnhU4. At 18 days of age, DN9 hit an important eaglet milestone – self-feeding! This is a small but step on the long road to prey drops, unzipping a carcass, and carving it up yourself. DN9 also tries to cast a pellet. Pellets are made of indigestable matter like fur, scales, and bits of bone. The tiny chunks that hatchling eaglets get are mostly digestable, but DN9 has been eating bigger bites with more indigestible ingredients. They have to come out somehow!
4/17/19: Cover Me It’s Raining – https://youtu.be/xEI4wIURfGE. DN9 has a lot of thermal down, but that doesn’t mean it wants to sit in the rain! In this extremely cute video, Mr. North steps over the eaglet, who is a little too big to brood easily. He stands over DN9, keeping it safe from the rain! Check out the cool footage of DN9 peeping out from under and behind Mr. North’s tail! It starts at about 2:05. After Mr. North shifts, DN9 ends up in the rain again. It crawls right back under dear Poptent!
Wisconsin Kestrels
4/18/19: Female Kestrel Lays First Egg – https://youtu.be/8VboS_yUAik. And we had just turned the cam on! GSB and Decorah watchers will recognize her egg labor. The final push comes at 2:37. She gets off the egg and begins to preen her lovely feathers!
4/18/19: Male Kestrel Delivers A Snake Snack To His Mate In The Nest Box – https://youtu.be/m7ctvrH0zxw. Full disclosure – I love snakes. I find it much harder to watch snakes being eaten than anything else, including more traditionally cute animals. However, this is a pretty cool video! The male shows up very suddenly at 9 seconds, trilling and alerting his mate to the food drop. She responds and gets up. He passes the snake through the hole and follows her into the box, but quickly leaves. Note how different their beautiful plumage is. American kestrels are one of the few birds of prey that are sexually dimorphic in their plumage. He flies off and she chows down! We also get a great look at the eye spots on the back of her head.