What a great day we had! Thanks everyone for joining us in chat and on Facebook…especially Mom and DM2, who put on quite a show as they worked on N2B, got beaky with one another, and hauled in stick after stick after stick! The warm, sunny weather following a snowstorm provides our eagles with the perfect opportunity to nestorate and interact, something we saw in Decorah, Decorah North, and at Xcel Fort Saint Vrain. I was surprised to see Sandhill cranes dancing and displaying on the Flyway today, but the holdouts and late migrants were there in numbers!
Thanks to our amazing volunteers – cam operators, chat mods, and Facebook mods – for finding and sharing special times at all our sites. Thanks to you for watching, learning, and caring. Sweet Eagle Dreams, everyone! I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did!
12/03/19: Mom’s Wide Load Hefty Stick-Beakering Moment-Portrait – https://youtu.be/rBWaNM7iORw. From chickiedee: “DM2 is perched on the skywalk when Mom comes flying into the nest with a hefty stick. DM2 wants to help but Mom is being stubborn as Mom can be sometimes as all of us women can be sometimes. They have a little beakering but all is well as they work out their differences and do nestorations. DM2 eventually returns to the skywalk. Mom will join him there a little later. The cam operator gives us beautiful super zooms of both Mom and DM2.”
Since Mom came in with such a hefty stick, you might be wondering: How much weight can an eagle carry?
12/03/19: Sticky moments with the Beakersons – https://youtu.be/ezSKHa-9aAM. DM2 begins to move a stick and does not approve when Mom decides to help! This results in tug-o-stick and a classic Beakerson’s moment as both of them want to decide where the stick goes. I really enjoy watching the interactions between Mom and DM2. He has learned a lot since last fall and is showing his ability as an eagletect…and just how difficult it is not to place Mom’s sticks exactly right, even when she is placing them! Arlene Beech has a little more footage here: https://youtu.be/t0sVBrIZxTI, including some nice close-up moments starting around 3:0 as both of them do some sticky fine-tuning and DM2 tries not to grab Mom’s sticks!
12/02/19: DM2 goes fishing – https://youtu.be/diRHqOr1P80. The clarity of this short video is amazing – watch at 1080p if you can! DM2 is perched on the nest. He takes off and catches a fish in the retaining pond.
Decorah North Eagles
12/02/19: Late Afternoon Nestorations and Sunset – https://youtu.be/oOE9jgGNssA. From Ginger: “DNF and Mr. North do some nestorations. (The livestream must have dropped some frames because at the beginning, DNF magically appears.) A cute little moment at 16:45 (and a little before) when DNF straighten’s Mr. North’s tie. lol Mr. flies off at 17:45. At 18:56 DNF flies off to the Hideaway Branch and spends quite awhile just resting and watching. DNF spends some time just chilling on the Hideaway Branch. She flies off at 37:00. At 37:20, a pretty sunset to end the day.” I liked the entire video, but the tie-straightening moment was very cute!
11/30/19: Early morning nestorations – https://youtu.be/FJhvk5GFr-4. A very windy day on a snow-filled nest means brief nestorations. High wind can make lift easier, but it makes control a little harder and any cornhusks placed in the nest would probably just fly away (note that the husk they placed was gone at about 5:59). I think I have a fascination for the wind rodeos here because I’ve been up in the nest when the tree is rocking! I don’t know how the eagles do it!
Xcel Fort St. Vrain Eagles
12/02/19: Mom eating on nest then Dad got to eat – https://youtu.be/_eUMR74QYuE. We got asked today whether eagles that live in different areas use different nesting materials! They do! All nests reflect their surroundings in composition and prey as well. Bald eagles prefer fish, but they eat what they can get, and the Fort St. Vrain eagles live near and hunt at a large prairie dog colony. I liked the handover here: Pa FSV hangs out until Ma is ready to leave. They have a brief tug-o-prey when she leaves with a prairie dog boot, but she doesn’t protest when he removes it and he gets to enjoy a little late lunch!
12/03/19: Sandhill Crane Dance – https://youtu.be/7fHL9noYeJA. This is so cool! Cranes dance and display, at times seeming serious and at times seeing playful as they flap their wings, bow their heads, and strike a pose! Behaviors include low bows, ruffle bows (like a low bow, but feathers are ruffled and shaken while wings are held against the body), upright forward or spread wing displays, and upright stabs.