It’s a little odd to see both nests covered in snow in November, but this is perfect eagle weather: sunny and relatively warm, with open water at Decorah and Decorah North. Snow can give animals cover, but darkly-colored animals like rabbits and squirrels show up very well against the white snow, and rabbits tend to leave trails and dark feces that reveal activity areas, aka eagle hunting grounds.
We’ve got one video from each nest along with a companion video from 2018 and a couple of blogs that answer the questions we most commonly get this time of the year (cold and nest chronology). We’d really like to hear from you about the blogs you’d like us to write. What are you interested in? What do you want to know? Feel free to drop a line in the comments or message us.
Thanks everyone, and have a very happy Fri-yay!
11/14/19: Beautiful fly-ins and outs, DM2 closeups – https://youtu.be/xa88JTBhZGg. Mom visits the nest and looks around as if to say ‘Why?’ before perching on the Skywalk and flying out at 3:47. DM2 does a long, slow fly-in from the pond, arriving at 4:05. He looks around the snowy nest (‘Why???’), does a little stick work, and eventually climbs up the Skywalk while Mom perches on the maple. We get some close-ups starting at 11:44. Is that a beaksicle or a feather hanging off the edge of his beak?
What did Decorah look like on November 14 of last year? It was a lot greener and the bottom of the nest was filled with cornhusks instead of snow: https://youtu.be/sFSpgVU5GIQ.
Decorah North Eagles
11/14/19: 7 29AM some nestorations – https://youtu.be/SnL5DM0j3Eg. Watch the whole video or go to 1:24 for a close up of Mr. North’s long, black talons against the white snow – and check around 2:02 for his eagle prints in the snow. DNF flies in with a stick at 2:03. She moves to place it while Mr. North looks at it like he would really like to help! The two of them alternate nestwork with sentry duties until DNF flies out at 5:06. Mr. North flies out a six minutes and the camera operator looks for both eagles, although black and white eagles are hard to spot against snow covered tree limbs. They eventually find one of the eagles across the field.
What did Decorah North look like on November 14 of last year? The eagles had just adopted the nest we built for them in September, and were busy flying sticks in across a frosty but still green pasture: https://youtu.be/VEtX_wwHUh0.
Why did Mom and Dad lay eggs later this year? https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/01/25/flashback-blog-why-did-mom-and-dad-lay-eggs-later-this-year/. This blog discusses some of the factors that shift egg laying dates forward or backward. We had two new mates last year, but egg chronology stayed about the same – a bit of surprise to me! We’ll see if they stay on the same schedule this year. The blog also discusses how cold, dry weather can shift egg-laying a little later.
When will our eagles lay eggs?
https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/01/22/flashback-blog-when-will-our-eagles-lay-eggs-bald-eagle-breeding-in-iowa-and-florida/. Now that Harriet has laid her first egg, we’re getting asked about Mom and DNF. When are they going to lay eggs? This blog discusses laying chronology, the unusual nature of November egg-laying in SE eagles, and the role that weather and light intensity might play in timing
Eagles and cold weather:
https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/01/17/flashback-blog-how-do-eagles-stay-warm-in-cold-weather/. This is a perennial favorite, especially for new watchers who aren’t used to seeing eagles in snow, ice, and sub-zero temperatures.