We have a Decorah Eagles and Great Spirit Bluff Nestflix megaroll for everyone tonight! A lot of people are wondering why Mom hasn’t laid an egg yet. DM2 is, as RRP board member Jim Robison pointed out, doing a great job of bringing her into condition for egg-laying by feeding her, working on the nest with her, and bonding with her on a regular basis. Perhaps – and this is a big perhaps – Mom’s late January eye injury, followed by all the activity at the hatchery, delayed laying a little bit. We didn’t see much of Mom at all while she was recovering from whatever happened to her eye in mid-January. She and DM2 were just starting to get back into the groove with copulation and food deliveries when activity at the hatchery appeared to delay bonding activities for another day. Female eagles need to store up water reserves and sperm to be ready for eggs, which means a lot of meals, a lot of copulation, a little more sunny perching, and a little less activity (nestorations notwithstanding). The last few days have been full of eating, copulation, and sunny perching, so we’re very hopeful for an egg soon. Maybe February 26th will be the day?
February 24: It fledged! Mom and DM2 have just lost a stick over the side
February 25, 2020: DM2 brings Mom a nice fish – https://youtu.be/QD6Z8rWf8k8. Exactly what the title says! DM2 brings Mom a fish. He hands it right over – sushi: what a nice gift! – and she gobbles it down with great enthusiasm.
February 25, 2020: Big stick delivery, DM2 closeups – https://youtu.be/GHw7xDlOpS8. DM2 is lumberjacking again – and notice that he soars upward into the nest instead of flying down from above! Slow down the video and you’ll see that the stick is perfectly balanced in his talon as he floats down into the nest. He moves it all around the nest, trying to get it placed just so or, failing that, to snap a pesky side branch off! At 2:50, he lays down to work on the nestbowl (I was pretty impressed by how much the nest has grown over the last few days). Close-ups begin around 6:20 and they are stunning!
February 24, 2020: Stick Fledges! – https://youtu.be/i8Rt0F4utZA. If you like stick tango, this video is for you! It opens with a tango that turns into tug of stick as both eagles express strong opinions about where exactly the stick should go! The stick fledges at 44 seconds. Check out Mom and DM2’s very funny reaction!
February 24, 2020: DM2 brings fish for breakfast – https://youtu.be/8WZP6o-iJPQ. Mom flies into the nest and begins looking around. When DM2 arrives with breakfish at 1:48, Mom puts on the kettle and begins wheedling! DM2 doesn’t seem inclined to share at first, although he doesn’t fly away. Look and listen for starlings in the backyard as the two vocalize and Mom makes it clear that she wants the fish! At 3:26, she sidles over to DM2, who gracefully surrenders hish fish to his hungry mate. Mom mantles over it – check 3:35 for an impressive look at just how big she gets! – and begins eating while DM2 stands watch.
February 23, 2020: Settling in for the night, such a beautiful sight – https://youtu.be/bL3IU8rrRD0. See the eagle heart at 1:35? Sherri suggested that could be Mom’s baby on board sign! This is a short but lovely video of Mom and DM2 settling in for the evening.
February 22, 2020: Copulate and chilling on the Y branch – https://youtu.be/15pfmRbAPcc. After copulating, Mom and DM2 chill on the Y-Branch. I loved the looks we got of them against the backdrop of the farm, but I especially loved the mutual vocalizations beginning at 5:40. This looks more like a bonding activity than a response or warning to an intruder and Mom appears to assume a receptive position a couple of times throughout the duetting. Listen for Mom’s wingflaps as she flies off at 7:55.
February 20, 2020: Close-ups of Mom (https://youtu.be/jNVV7rufg6w) and DM2 (https://youtu.be/fX9L3agDQl4). The DM2 video includes a look at DM2 on the new perch with a cool Mom flyby at 8:31!
Great Spirit Bluff Falcons
February 24, 2020: Newman at GSB
February 24, 2020: Newman chasing Sub Adult – https://youtu.be/fUPPpo6nFR0. You will need to slow it down to see it. A female falcon basks on the ledge. At 47 seconds, a subadult eagle flies by. What is that little dot hitting it? Most likely Newman! Acrobatic flying and territorial defense is an important part of early courtship and Newman is doing his best to display his talents for female falcons!
February 23, 2020: Falcon visit – https://youtu.be/AejW0SGzfsc. There isn’t much to see here, but there is plenty to listen to! Hear the chupping? Newman is sweet-talking someone we can’t see – perhaps the female falcon we saw a day later?