Day Trips to Decorah

Photos & story by Robin Brumm

I have been to Decorah two times in the last few weeks, but life got busy and I didn’t have time to post, so today I have a 2-for-1 Coupon for you … 2 Day Trips in one post.

8-30-19 Day Trip

Shortly after I got to Decorah, Mom flew onto the maple tree. She only stayed about 15-20 minutes and then flew off. She didn’t even tell me she was leaving! At least she posed for a few photos before she left. A short time after she left, the Sub Adult (SA) flew to the horse pasture tree with a big fish. As much as he tried to gulp it down, it took him three attempts to finally swallow it. He feaked his beak (cleaned it by rubbing it on a branch) and then flew to N1 where he perched on the Y branch for a while before flying off.

By this time, it was early afternoon, and I decided to get some lunch to bring back to the hatchery to eat. I got a fish sandwich, hoping to entice the eagles back to the maple for more photos! It didn’t work, lol. After waiting even longer, I looked up and saw an eagleā€¦ but there was white mottling under the wings!! OH, a young visitor! Hmm … D27 had been in the Decorah area, could it be?? I got so excited thinking it might be D27, but dang it, no transmitter!! But it did look to be around 2 years old or so. The visitor attempted to fish at least 5 times and caught 2 or 3 fish. It was there for several hours that afternoon. After s/he caught its last fish, it flew to the area downstream from N2B. I walked over to the bridge but could not find it so I went back to the hatchery. I waited for a while but it didn’t come back to the area.

9-14-19 Day Trip

Saturday was supposed to be cool and mostly sunny so it was a perfect day for a trip to Decorah. Since the sun is rising later, I can leave a little later, but I still leave home when it’s dark! It was clear, and the moon was full when I left, but by the time I got to Decorah, it had clouded over. When I got to the hatchery, Mom and another eagle, were on the maple tree. It looked like the other eagle was a male because he was smaller than Mom. Although I don’t know who it is, it did not look like DM2 to me. I guess we will have to wait and see if he sticks around, and if we can get a good close up look on the cams once they go live. The male eagle only stayed around for about 15 minutes or so and then flew off.

Mom stayed on the maple tree for a couple of hours. It was so nice seeing her. The last time I was there, she only stayed a few minutes and then flew off. As she perched on the maple, the clouds broke up, and the sun came out over the bluff and gave Mom a beautiful glow. There are a few leaves starting to change on the maple tree, which made Mom even more beautiful.

Mom finally flew off toward the east over the bluffs. I waited for several hours and she didn’t come back so I reluctantly headed for home. As I drove home, I wondered if this male would still be here next time I am able to come to Decorah. Hmm, Mom, SA, a visitor, a different male, it seems to be a revolving door in Decorah lately. I wonder who I will see next time I come to Decorah.

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