We have your videos and a little more! I saw an article on parrots and altruism this morning that I wanted to share. Followers often wonder what kind of internal lives our eagles have. Over the years, we’ve seen them experience what looks like pleasure (sunbathing, preening, sibling cuddle puddles, bonding, and many other moments), confusion and fear (Mom’s plaintive pealing after Dad’s disappearance), and even annoyance (think of those Beakerson’s moments). Parrots and eagles live in very different ways, but I still think this article is worth reading. Look for the link below the videos.
I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed ‘late nestorations’ and ‘beautiful Mom’. Watchers may need to resist the urge to stroke the screen – I know that I did! Thanks as always to our camera operators and videomakers for capturing such lovely moments in the nest, and to you for watching, learning, sharing, and caring!
1/9/20: Something spooked DM2 off the Skywalk – https://youtu.be/JYLTTZbozqE. The videomaker includes several versions: the raw footage at 1:41, again at 2:46, a muted version at 3:09, a slow-mo muted version at 3:38, plain footage again at 4:01, a slowed-mo version with sound at 4:36, and a close-up silent slo-mo version at about 4:56. Given the time of year, the time of day, and the silent nature of whatever DM2 was responding to – I’ve listened to this with headphones on and my eyes shut and can’t hear anything – I think an owl was hunting or flying nearby, and DM2 responded to it.
1/9/20: Mom and DM2 late nestorations, perching on the skywalk – https://youtu.be/uiRZ88iW8VM. This is a beautiful video: a glorious sunset, eagles in monochrome, and perching on the Skywalk as night falls. I enjoyed DM2’s tree-trimming at around 5:30 and both eagles on the Skywalk beginning in roughly the tenth minute.
1/9/20: 4pm Mom, then DM2 to the nest – https://youtu.be/JC6yXD5sJ7U. ‘Where is DM2?’ watchers wondered. ‘We haven’t seen him all day’! It was moderately windy and very warm in Decorah: a perfect day to stretch one’s wings. Maybe DM2 just wanted a nestoration break! Whatever his motivation and wherever he went, he joined Mom in the nest around 4pm. We get some great close-ups of Mom around 40 seconds before DM2 joins her at 58 seconds. He begins moving sticks and rearranging soft materials, taking a great deal of interest in Mom’s activities at 1:35. She flies out at 2:29 (slow the video down to see it) and stands sentinel for DM2 until flying out to perch on the maple. Close-ups of DM2 start around 4 minutes. While he really never has a bad ‘hair’ day, watchers might enjoy his Einstein-do in the sixth minute!
1/8/20: Beautiful Mom Decorah – https://youtu.be/UxFAJN3cUAU. A beautiful video of a beautiful eagle. Close-ups start at 3:01 and they are spectacular! It’s a chilly, bright day in Decorah and Mom appears to be enjoying the weather. She has fluffed out her feathers, enhancing their insulative factor and trapping warm air next to her body. We can see them stirring in the light breeze and admire their shapes, textures, and colors. Mom flies down into the nest at about 4:48 and shifts some soft material, but spends most of her time peering alertly around the nest. She calls briefly in the sixth minute, but gets no response.
Decorah North Eagles
1/9/20: DNF brings in a late lunch – https://youtu.be/Us2ZGiLo3kQ. Not everyone will like this video, which features DNF eating what might be a muskrat – they don’t hibernate and we see a long tail and clawed paw at 5:23 (thanks to STLbf in our forum for that). But I found it fascinating to watch her use her beak to expertly separate fur from meat and meat from bone. Mr. North appears interested and some white-breasted nuthatches move closer, but DNF isn’t sharing! In the 34th minute, both eagles are paying attention to the neighborhood crow watch. Mr. North flies out, perhaps to see why they are sounding the alarm. DNF flies off to finish lunch in a tree in the 36th minute.
1/8/20: North morning visit – https://youtu.be/y3tAni4BxRs. A lovely domestic morning at the North Nest! I’m fascinated by their two-tiered structure – a heart-shaped nest within a nest! Mr. North and DNF are hard at work on the nestbowl: digging in the substrate to loosen and soften it and moving soft materials around to prepare the foundation for their egg cup. The eagles react to a loud sound at 2:56: note how they quickly look up and erect their feathers, immediately appearing larger and more formidable. Mr. North flies out while DNF keeps working. She tests the nestbowl, takes a little time to preen, and continues her foundational work while the Mr. watches from a nearby branch. She eventually perches on the babysitting branch and does a little more preening. Listen for white-breasted nuthatches in this section of the video – they love the oak forest and we sometimes see them in and around the nest. Mr. North flies in with a stick at 13:04 and DNF flies in to check it out. I especially enjoyed the footage of the pair together in the 14th minute: look for close-ups to start at 14:28.
Birds Around The Web
Polly Share A Cracker? Parrots Can Practice Acts Of Kindness, Study Finds: https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/794867653/polly-share-a-cracker-parrots-can-practice-acts-of-kindness-study-finds
How one photographer captures the beauty of birds in flight: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/photograph-birds-in-flight
Celebrate urban birds! https://celebrateurbanbirds.org/. A project from Cornell. Remember, peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks can both be urban birds. I love that they included the oft-maligned and almost-always controversial starling as a cover bird. Way to go!
Google tells us that people are searching for ‘Bald Eagle Watching Days’. It’s that time of year on the mighty Mississippi! Here’s a link for anyone looking: https://midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/nature/birds_wildlife/eagle_watching_mississippi_river.html