It should be an egg-citing week for all of us! Ma FSV is spending a lot of time on her nest, often a sign that egg-laying is near, and eagles at both Decorah nests are working hard to finish last-minute pre-egg tasks – raising the crib rails, removing snow, loosening and aerating the nestcup, and bringing in piles of soft material for their egglets to be. Last year’s egg-laying schedule looked like this:
- Ma Fort St. Vrain laid her first egg on February 13
- DNF laid her first egg on February 21
- Mom Decorah laid her first egg on February 22
Remember, the eagles could go a little earlier or a little later at any given nest! We let everyone know when we go on watch and will be holding a special fundraiser to celebrate once eggs start arriving!
Today we have videos from Decorah North, Decorah, and GSB. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did! I especially enjoyed Mr. North’s breakfast trout take-out, a cheeky and very speedy sub-adult, Mom Decorah in softly falling snow, and hilarious eagle antics on a sticky – and very busy – Friday!
Decorah Eagles North
February 9, 2020: A snowy morning – https://youtu.be/b4a5inXsc9I. It’s a chilly, snowy morning at the North nest! Both eagles come to the nest, but Mr. North quickly leaves (note that he is blown back a little by the wind) while DNF begins the process of snow removal! She steps down into the hole created by their arrival and lays down to press and flatten the snow beneath her, pushing it away with her body. Her bed looks chilly, but she seems pretty comfortable – down low and mostly out of the wind! She alternates sitting and standing before something that we can’t see or hear catches her attention. She flies out of the nest.
February 8, 2020: Mr. North went fishing – https://youtu.be/OSy32xEtFjE. Mr. North lands on the snowy bank by the creek. At 5:24, he seems to decide that this fishing spot isn’t working. He walks downstream to check out a few new locations. Any trout here? Nope. Any trout here? Nope. He continues to move along the bank and eventually catches a fish. He takes it back to the North nest. DNF arrives shortly afterwards, squeeing like crazy! She claims the prize while Mr. North works on the nest. I really enjoyed the end of this video: Mr. North and DNF are always fun to watch and I like how willing he is to give up his fishy prize to his hungry mate!
February 6, 2020: Cheeky Sub-Adult – https://youtu.be/j1h2zxsGO60. A subadult cruises over the north nest, grabbing nesting material as it goes! Eaglespirit has live and slo-mo versions, but I ended up slowing down the slo-mo to get a good look. We commonly see little birds stealing nesting material, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a subadult doing it!
February 10, 2020: DM2 to the nest, closeups, snow on the maple – https://youtu.be/8evbisV5PK0. The video opens with DM2 floating into a snowy nest. He and Mom have been removing snow, but more remains to be done! He sits down and churns his powerful legs, using his feet to loosen and push snow away from the bottom of the nest. He seems comfortable and the camera moves in to give us a closer look at his beautiful feathers and face. He gets up at 7:16 and begins moving soft materials, digging them out from under the snow and rearranging them. He flies out, taking some snow with him, and Mom comes in to the nest! Check 12:53 for a beautiful look at Mom on a frosty branch.
February 9, 2020: 10:30 am Mom, maple, N1, Y in the snow – https://youtu.be/VfJzrTughwM. Beautiful eagles in softly falling snow! I especially loved the stunning close-ups of Mom at N1. It’s wonderful to see her looking so great!
February 7, 2020: An Active Morning On The Nest- DM2 Goes Fishing – https://youtu.be/H_Qal9J0mWU. From LifeMedia: “DM2 and Mom were on the nest this morning doing some nest work and DM2 left the nest. A very short time later DM2 can be seen flying down to the retention pond to try to grab a fish, skimming the water as the ducks swam super fast to get away.” This video contains some great close-ups and LifeMedia uses captions to show important scenes – including the ducks swimming away from DM2!
February 7, 2020: Sticky Friday! https://youtu.be/wU2oQ3Yo0zo. Mom brings in a stick, followed by DM2 with a twig about a minute later. DM2 moves materials while Mom begins digging. The two work side by side for a little bit. DM2 flies off and Mom moves up to the Skywalk. She joins DM2 on the branch at around 8:41 and the two mate, scaring some geese away as they vocalize! They stay perched side by side and we get some cool looks at them in the 12th minute against a backdrop of pond and more geese! Check 14:22, when DM2 flies right by the camera with a large, freshly broken stick. He drags it all around the nest as he tries to figure out where it should go, taloning and snapping off pieces to get it to fit. Mom arrives with another stick at 17:29 and stick tango/decisions start at about 18:08. Mom isn’t looking for help, but DM2 can’t leave this stick alone!
Great Spirit Bluff
February 6, 2020: Amazing moon closeups – https://youtu.be/2Qn9j-wcR0o. Just what the video says – a peaceful and relaxing nearly full moon!