Nestflix! We’re featuring the Decorah Eagles tonight. I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the amazing stick deliveries – they are pretty cool and it is great to see Mom being her busy, feisty self again! – and DM2 and Mom on N1. We normally post this blog on Valentine’s Day (https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/02/06/courtship-copulation-and-other-things-romantic/) but I wanted to post early so watchers could watch for some of the behaviors we are talking about…and look for eagle hearts!
2/6/20: Amazing stick deliveries – https://youtu.be/W463BxYrz8E. Just what the title says! DM2 flies in hot with a stick at 1:44, almost overshooting the nest. He tests the nestbowl at 2:27, scraping his feet to get the foundation just right! At 2:50, he takes a break to fiddle with nesting materials, giving us a really nice look at just how the eagles have raised the rails! The camera moves in for close-ups and we get a lovely look at his feathers shining in the sun. He seems to be enjoying the soft fluffy material and warm sun, since he doesn’t get up until 3:53. He leaves and Mom lumberjacks in at 5:00, seeming to pole vault into the nest on top of a very large branch that she struggles to move around the nest. Not to be outdone, DM2 follows her into the nest at 5:11 with another stick! Watch out, Mom! The two move their sticks, getting them just right on opposite sides of the nest until DM2 joins Mom at 6:10. A very funny stick tango follows, although DM2 eventually gets control of the stick. Mom appears to find this a little fetching: check 6:51 to see her watch him before she sidles up to him, brushes against him, and looms over him before turning back to nestorations.
2/5/20: DM2 brings nest material, joins Mom on the maple – https://youtu.be/Dj8DsdDjrpk. I love the glimpse of N2B that we get at the beginning of the video. Mom and DM2 have raised the crib rails high and they look almost woven together in some places. The center of the nest is filled with soft grasses and shredded husks and DM2 brings more in shortly after the video starts! We get some nice close-ups starting at 42 seconds as he fiddles with the fine materials to get everything placed to his satisfaction. Check 1:52 for a brief look at one of the stranger-looking prey remains – it’s a spinal column, but it looks kind of like a spiny crab – that I’ve seen in the nest. He flies out at 2:12, dragging some nest materials behind him, and joins Mom on the maple.
2/5/20: Mom & DM2 visit nest and N1 – https://youtu.be/75WhLHZKiYU. Although I enjoyed the whole video, I really enjoyed seeing Mom and DM2 at N1, which starts at 13:32. The two are perched side by side on what remains of the small nest that the subadult built. The quarters are pretty tight and DM2 quickly clambers up to the Y. Mom joins him shortly after. Blossem Holland also has a video – her N1 footage starts at 37:27: https://youtu.be/X0LNaWUqZng. Look for a brief side-glimpse of the nest at 38:11.
2/5/20: Sunset, geese – https://youtu.be/IvmXzZHtdEw. A lovely screensaver sunset with geese in the 7th minute. Relaxing and beautiful!
Odds and Ends
Why molt matters: https://birdpop.org/pages/blogPost.php?id=27. We know why molt matters to birds, but why does it matter to banders? This was a very interesting article that, among other things, helps the banders at our banding station age birds. Wondering about molt in general? We have a blog for that! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/05/19/what-are-feathers-what-is-molt/
Celebrate Valentines Day the best way – with birds! The Great Backyard Bird Count starts on February 14 this year: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/about-great-backyard-bird-count