Eagle pool party, thieving squirrels, and Sandhill cranes!

A kettle is a collective term for a group of migrating raptors, but what should we call a group of eagles on the ground? The terms ‘Collective’ and ‘Council’ don’t really fit the rowdy pool party antics of the eagles we saw at the North nest today. A squabble? A quarrel? A crush? Whatever you call it, they were fascinating to watch. Feel free to give your naming suggestions below! We also watched a brave squirrel thief filching nest materials in Decorah and a lone Sandhill Crane calling for its flock on the Flyway.

As always, thanks to our camera operators for finding special moments, our video makers for sharing them, and to you for watching, learning, and caring. We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did!

Decorah North Eagles
December 9, 2019: A subadult at the North Nest

December 9, 2019: A subadult at the North Nest

12/09/19: Party at creek, Juvenile, SA and Adultshttps://youtu.be/4esKt-nL0RY. This is a long video, so watch it all the way through or skip around and find your favorite parts! A massive cold weather system is moving through roughly 100 miles north of the North nest. Its strong winds and subzero temperatures are helping to push eagles south and the Valley of the Norths provides the perfect opportunity for rest and recreation! We get to see at least one juvenile, some older subadults, an adult, Mr. North and DNF perched in the spooky tree, and a crow bathing near the eagles at 51:42. This is another great look at how territorial eagles are willing to tolerate – and sometimes interact with – other eagles outside of breeding season. These young visitors don’t represent a threat and were completely acceptable as long as they stayed away from the nest and Mr. North and DNF’s favorite perches! You can get a quick look at DNF chasing a visitor out of the no-fly zone here: https://youtu.be/_l8HOQU42XI, and a shorter look at the pool party here: https://youtu.be/bk8RtNEONFk

Decorah Eagles

12/09/19: Brave Lil Thiefhttps://youtu.be/6EvKbrtHM3U. Someone mentioned squirrel thieves yesterday! I enjoyed seeing the shenanigans of this brave little fox squirrel (:36 second, 1:13, and 1:26 minutes) as it filched corn husks to line its own nest. The snow also highlights Mom and DM2’s work since their most recent sticks haven’t had time to settle down into the nest.

Mississippi Flyway
December 9, 2019: Sandhill crane on the Mississippi Flyway

December 9, 2019: Sandhill crane on the Mississippi Flyway

12/09/19: Sandhill Cranehttps://youtu.be/nazemEGxCiQ. This lone Sandhill crane is an very unique sight since Sandhill cranes are extremely social by nature. It appears healthy and well-fed, but perhaps a little confused by the lack of answers to its call. It doesn’t need to fly far to find friends: we saw a large flock depart roughly half an hour before this video was taken. Look for beautiful footage and close-ups throughout, including head studies beginning at 5:34.

Diction-aerie Word of the Day!

Juvie Jump: another name for the game of leap eaglet. It might seem a little early to start talking about eaglets, but we’ve seen so much eagle leap-frog on the Flyway and at the North Nest that I couldn’t resist! Juvie jumps aren’t just for juvies, although post-fledge jumps include a lot more wing action.