Videos from GSB and the Flyway!

We have videos from GSB and the Flyway! At Great Spirit Bluff, male peregrine Mackey drops by to check the rock ledge diner out, although he doesn’t stay very long. On the Flyway, ducks preen (don’t miss the lovely juvenile male wood duck), Sandhill cranes forage, eagles splish-splash, and birds take flight at dusk!

We apologize for our sporadic posting – cam season is upon us and we’re out in Colorado working on the Fort St. Vrain eagle cam right now. We’ll be posting weekly updates from Decorah to let everyone know what’s going on with Mom and the sub-adult. Thanks for watching, learning, and caring – and a thousand thanks to our hard-working camera operators and video makers for sharing such amazing moments with us! I cannot tell you how fortunate I feel to watch the Flyway as the gyre of the year turns and billions of migrating birds fill the sky.

Great Spirit Bluff

8/21/19: K/36 black/red Mackey visit – A male falcon named Mackey stopped by the rock ledge diner at Great Spirit Bluff today! He spent some time exploring, alternately seeming to comb the ledge, perhaps looking for cached food or exploring a potential territory, before leaving very abruptly. While this video doesn’t show it, he appears to have tried to court Michelle…and been rebuffed!

Mackey is a 2017 hatch from Maiden Rock banded by Amy and retrieved – as documented in the film ‘Decoding the Driftless’ – by David Kester and John Howe. Check the footage around 2:15 and you’ll see some brownish feathers in his lovely slate-blue adult plumage. Mackey still has a few juvenile feathers left – a very helpful way to age two-year old peregrines who don’t have bands. We wish him the best of luck!

If you spot a banded peregrine on any midwest cam, you can check the band number here: When reading an auxiliary/color peregrine band like Mackey’s, the character on the black band is always first, followed by the character in the other color (green, red, or blue in the Midwest and all black for Canadian birds). So Mackey’s band would be read and searched for as K/36 black/red. If you want to report a banded bird, you can let us know – but you should also go to and report to the feds if you can. Either way, banders are always excited to hear about their birds, and you are furthering the cause of someone’s research by reporting!

Mississippi Flyway

8/21/19: Sunset flights – Tulsa says ‘Go full screen’. Do, and make sure your audio is on. Many of the birds we see lifting off against a blue, rose, and yellow sky may be on the wing tonight. While raptors migrate during the day, many birds migrate at night. Curious about how what we are watching compares to real life? Check this out:

8/21/19: Sandhill Cranes feeding – We’re in Colorado working on the FSV eagle cam right now. Our Colorado friends loved seeing these beautiful Sandhill Cranes foraging in the Mississippi! This is a beautiful video with spectacular close-ups, ripples, and reflections.

8/21/19: Bald Eagle bathing moment – “Splish-splash I was taking a bath…and then this other eagle showed up and I didn’t appreciate it!” An interesting interaction between an adult and sub-adult eagle. There is a lot to like about this video, including great shots of eagle bathing (feather care is important!), the adult/sub-adult interaction, and mutual ‘eagle-see, eagle-do’ bathing following the initial interaction (which is followed by more interactions). What were these eagles thinking? I wish I knew!

8/19/19: Beautiful ducks – The video opens with a lovely female Mallard Duck. It moves to a juvenile male Wood Duck – and he is beautiful (check out 10:34 for a really nice look at his emergent adult plumage). I love ducks and I loved this video!