8-22-19 ~ Day Trip to Decorah

Story and photos by Robin Brumm

Thursday was supposed to be mostly sunny and high temps in the mid 70’s … What to do, what to do? Go to Decorah of course! So I got up at dark o’clock and off I went. When I got to Decorah I didn’t see anybirdie in the usual perch places. I parked the car and looked up at maple, and there was the sub-adult (SA)! How do they do that … Just appear out of nowhere? lol He only stayed a few minutes and then flew off to N1, so off I went! Of course, as I was walking that way, the SA flew off toward the southwest. While I was there, I noticed that there was a branch and a bunch of leaves in front of the N1 nest area, and I couldn’t see any sticks or beginnings of a nest from that vantage point. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw somebirdie fly to the maple. It was Mom, so back toward the maple I went. She only stayed a little while and flew over to N1, but by the time I walked over there she had flown off the back of the Y branch. I walked over to the bridge and found Mom on a dead tree upstream from N1. After watching her for a little bit, I went back to my car to wait.

Mom flew to the maple tree about an hour later. She was watching both the retention pond and the hatchery ponds, and after several minutes she flew off the maple and circled around the retention pond, swooped down and caught a fish. She took her breakfish over to the horse pasture tree. I walked over to see if I could find her and noticed the SA was also on a branch in that tree. Just as I got there, Mom flew to N1 and a few minutes later the SA followed. When I got over to N1, Mom was on the Y branch behind a bunch of leaves, and the SA was on a branch to the right of the nest. He flew off behind N1 and looked like he landed on another branch, but a short time later he flew in from behind the tree and landed in the nest area of N1. I think he brought a stick in with him because he was bent over in the nest area like he was placing a stick. A few minutes later he hopped out to the Y branch next to Mom. I heard mom vocalize and then she flew off behind N1 and the SA followed. They both flew toward the retention pond and circled around a few times. Then the SA flew off toward the west, and Mom flew to the bluffs to the east of the hatchery.

While I was waiting to see if Mom would come back to the maple, I walked to the bridge to see if I could see the N1 nest/sticks from that direction. I was able to see some sticks through the leaves, so I walked up the road a little more and was able to get another peek through the leaves of the sticks in the N1 nest area. It looks like more sticks have been added and the nest the nest appears to be bigger. But it might look very different from ground level than it would overhead from the camera. I took a few photos and went back to sit in my lawn chair. Mom finally flew off the bluffs around 1:30 pm and I decided it was time for me to fly home.

As I was driving home, I couldn’t help but wonder … Will DM2 will be coming back? Will Mom and SA become a mated pair? Will nest-building continue? And if so, which nest will be used next year? About halfway home, I realized we’re all wondering the same things, and we won’t know until the new season of ‘As The Nest Turns’ … but I’ll be happy with whatever Mom chooses best for her next chapter.

**RRP greatly appreciates Robin’s generosity sharing her photos and we remind you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written permission.

Robin’s photos: robinbrumm.zenfolio.com/p13727475…