Rain, rain go away! While the eaglets’ thermal down helps keep them warm, it doesn’t shed water very well. This was obvious today as the eaglets cuddle-puddled (in Decorah) and snuggled under Poptent and Mombrella (in Decorah and at Decorah North).
We’ve had a few questions from watchers who are worried about development in what seems like an unending season of storms, drizzle, mist, and the dreaded ‘wintry mix’. Are the eaglets spending too much time under their parents to learn the life lessons imparted by wandering and playing? While we would like the sun to come out, eaglet growth and development are exactly where we would expect them, something we wrote about here: https://bit.ly/2XW1q0M. All is good in the cottonwood…but everyone is invited to cross their talons and wish for sun!
Tonight’s film fest features videos from Decorah and Decorah North! Grab your favorite beverage, put up your feet, and enjoy!
4/30/19: Growing pinfeathers, beautiful Mom – https://youtu.be/bdwJQ8K7xdg
. Starting at 9 seconds, we get a beautiful look at growing pinfeathers on D32’s wing. I swear they were smaller this morning! It’s cold and wet, and D32 does its best to get under Mombrella, who is doing her best to shelter the eaglets. While their thermal down protects them against heat loss and some rain, they still need a little help in dmap weather like this! Beautiful Super Mom stands over her eaglets and keeps them safe! Take a look at 2:56 and you’ll see D32 sheltered by her chest and D33 snuggling under her tail!
4/30/19: Eaglet closeups, Mom yoga – https://youtu.be/0OIRLaEiy_s
. We wrote about the eaglets’ third week of life today. This video shows some of the changes very nicely! Starting at around 2:09, we get great close-ups of natal down dandelion puffs, grey thermal down, the tips of covert feathers just beginning to peek out from beneath a field of grey, preening (watch at 2:44 as D32 really goes to town!), flight feathers just barely poking out of keratin sheaths, and a warble and a wingercize – almost a foot stand! – at 4:11. As the eaglets have gotten closer in size, it’s getting hard to tell them apart. At 4:43, D32 is laying down and D33 is standing up. D32’s ‘mohawk’ is alittle further along and does not quite meet the beak. Covert feather development is also a little more advanced. Keep track of those changes and look for tiny differences in features – it is going to get hard to tell them apart!
4/30/19: Mr Feeds DN9 Pheasant & Pulls Out a Pheasant Egg – https://youtu.be/WYbtNrIH2z8
. Mr. North arrives at the nest with a hen pheasant and begins quickly and expertly defeathering it. He feeds large chunks, including feathers and bone, to DN9, who gobbles it down eaglerly! At 1:12, he pulls out an egg, which still looks a little soft. The two share it and Mr. North continues feeding. Note how DN9 is just a little more advanced than D32 when it comes to feather development, although it is otherwise very similar in size.
4/29/19: Dual feeding – https://youtu.be/wdo0JCWjQXE
. With two doting parents, DN9 is a very well-fed eaglet! While its primary mode of transportation is the tarsus shuffle, we do see a footstand at 2:06 as DN9 gets up! DN9 is 29 days of age – and still has about 45 to 50 more days in the nest to go!
4/27/19: Mr. North back with cornstalk – hilarious! https://youtu.be/Q8kS2UmRDpk
. Mr. North flies in with a long corn-stalk, but he can’t seem to decide where to put it! He moves it all around the nest while DN9, perhaps looking a little cold, watches. What is dad doing? Satisfied at last, Mr. North does his best to settle over DN9, who scoots right under him for a little warm-up and snuggle time!