The days are growing longer and we’re looking forward to the new year! Tonight’s Nestflix include Mom and DM2 enjoying a little venison sous vide, a woodpecker visit, a lovely look at Mr. North and DNF, and extremely cool looks at eagles and coyotes on the Mississippi Flyway. Enjoy our brief mid-winter thaw and thank you so much for watching and caring!
12/24/19: DM2 and Mom taking turns eating in the stream – https://youtu.be/M-MYvd6_l_M. The stream washed in a nice Christmas Eve dinner for Mom and DM2! Sometimes carcasses aren’t especially edible as expressed by the percentage of edible flesh to inedible or low-quality/calorie materials like bone, fur, tendons, and jerky. Mom and DM2 need to work to separate flesh from bone, but it looks like the cold water kept dinner nice and fresh and there is more than enough meat for both eagles. Look for Mom at N1 (15:16), some post-prandial preening (16:47), and both eagles working at N2B (starts at 21:04 when Mom flies in with a talonful of corn husks). Check out 22:53 for a nice look at both of them. While adults don’t get the kinds of cropzillas we see on eaglets, those are two nicely full birds!
12/22/19: Glowing in the Afternoon Sun-Beautiful Portrait Zoom Of Mom – https://youtu.be/m4NhHpJ0i2A. Mom glows in the afternoon sun! Close-ups start at 6:14 and include feet (look at her lovely black talons), feathers, head, and face (side and front views).
12/18/19: Woodpecker visit – https://youtu.be/qnOXBhCCj8Q. A downy woodpecker sneaks scraps from the bottom of N2B – another reminder that bald eagle nests support far more than just bald eagles! N2B provides food, nest materials, and even homes for mice, woodpeckers, starlings, sparrows, and squirrels.
Decorah North Eagles
12/24/19: Holiday gift from the Norths, visit the nest, mating and great close ups – https://youtu.be/0RNezR6g13o. This is a great video! I especially liked the close-ups starting at 6:08. Mr. North and DNF are a beautiful eagle couple that live in a beautiful place. If you go down to the Mississippi Flyway videos, we talk about a receptive posture in the first video. 5:19 provides an excellent example: DNF’s head is down, her back is flattened, and her shoulders are a little rounded. While she isn’t fertile yet (and won’t be until probably early to mid-February) she is clearly indicating her willingness to bond.
12/22/19: Beautiful view of Bald Eagle Pair and another Eagle on ice caught a fish – https://youtu.be/fVVOyFVS_jc. I enjoyed this whole video, but check out 6:38 for a copulation attempt. At 5:58, the female eagle assumes a posture that looks receptive: head down, shoulders a little rounded, back flattened. Dual vocalizations start around 6:04. At 6:16, the male walks down the branch. The two continue to duet until 6:38, when he flies up to land on her back. She quickly shakes him off and he lands next to her the branch. She flies out at 7:09 (note the tell-tale evacuation before she takes off) and he follows. The camera operator finds them both perched in a tree at 7:38. At 8:26, the view switches to an adult on ice. Go to 10:45 to see it catch a small fish by wading in shallow water.
Were the pair of eagles local or migrants? We don’t have any evidence for pairs migrating together, although we have very few transmitter studies on adult eagles from a known origin. Given their behavior – attempted mating, flying off across a lake, and perching together not far from a nest location on the west side of the river – I suspect they are a local pair. As many places as there are to fish, the snag remains a popular spot for visiting eagles. The locals might show up for the quality of fishing, to take over a good perch (“this is our place”), or a combination of the two.
12/19/19: Coyotes on the Flyway – https://youtu.be/na9epzQkNYE. It’s not uncommon to see coyotes crossing the ice or skirting the edges of Pool Seven. Ice opens up relatively safe pathways and may provide foraging opportunities, including winter-killed fish or other semi-frozen treats. Look for them to cross, play, and forage along the islands and shallow braided channels on the river’s west side.