We have your Decorah Eagles, Decorah North, and Great Spirit Bluff videos! With two eggs in Decorah and two at Decorah North, everyone seems to be wondering about a third egg. Seven days have passed since DNF laid egg #2, which means it is extremely unlikely she’ll lay another. But Mom has a history of laying three eggs and is still ‘in the zone’, eggwise. She’s tended to go right around four days between eggs, which means we might start looking for a third egg on March 3rd!
I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the egg laying videos and close look at the egg and Mom in Decorah, and the spectacular look at DNF’s tongue on the north nest. I love seeing the eggs, but if you can watch just one video, check out DNF’s tongue! Thanks as always to our camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing such lovely moments, and to you for watching, learning, and caring!
March 1, 2020: Eggs in Decorah
March 1, 2020: DM2 delivers food, Mom leaves with it, DM2 takes over incubation – https://youtu.be/HPvXPPCbxA0. We don’t see much of the eggs in this video, but we do get a nice look at DM2’s fish as Mom leaves with it (the scales make me think sucker) and a Decorah Shimmy has DM2 settles over the eggs. Long-time fans will remember this video: https://youtu.be/Ovrk3xkyors.
March 1, 2020: Mom closeups, good look at the eggs – https://youtu.be/PDiWSciJcGs. A spectacular look at all three things! I especially enjoyed the look at Mom’s ‘beak lips’, aka commisure, around 5:00, and the look at the eggs, which starts with Mom getting up at 10:50. Note how carefully she gets up and how she holds her feet loosely to avoid damaging the eggs.
February 29, 2020: Egg laying videos!
February 29, 2020: Shift change, closeup look at the egg – https://youtu.be/-xJF2WwHl8w. Mom takes a break from incubation and flies out. Close-ups start around 1:00. We get a spectacular look at the lone egg cradled in the cozy egg cup. The detail is good enough to see its rough surface – the small pores that allow gas exchange through the eggs hard shell. DM2 flies in at 5:18 to take his shift!
February 29, 2020: Mom close-ups – https://youtu.be/SiBEg-0L3YI. Exactly what the title says – nine lovely minutes of Mom. Although this video mostly concentrates on her face, we get some stunning views of her body starting around 1:28. I was especially impressed by the feather detail at 2:13. Starting at around 2:27, we get a brief but very cool look at her primaries (the asymmetric feathers that are sticking up) and the more symmetric feathers that are either coverts or secondaries.
Why are primary feathers asymmetric? The answer may have to do with physics. Air pressure at the leading edge of a flight-forward feather causes the feather to twist upwards during flapping and gliding flight. If the rachis were in the middle of a feather, roughly half the feather would twist upwards, creating a vortice that would kill lift and make flight very difficult, if not impossible. While feather collecting is illegal, it doesn’t hurt to pick a fallen feather up and examine it should you find one. The size and shape of the feather will yield important clues about which feather it is and what bird it came from!
Decorah North Eagles
February 29, 2020: DNF’s tongue
March 1, 2020: Peek at the eggs – https://youtu.be/XleopnhDLN4. Look quick! DNF gets up and rolls the eggs before settling back down over them, giving us a brief glimpse. They look great!
March 1, 2020: DNF great closeups of her tongue and Mr North deliver a fish – https://youtu.be/s4BnAeLvR8M. We had a few of these videos (see also https://youtu.be/V0Jc3lExxjk and https://youtu.be/I0AQRuPPZ6o) and all I can say is wow! We get unbelievable views of her tongue and can even see a little bit of the papillae on her upper palate. It’s hard to pick just one moment out of this video, but try 1:27 forward. This video puts me in mind of a blog on eagle beaks and tongues: https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/04/05/bald-eagle-tongues-and-beaks/
Why is DNF panting? Eagles lack sweat glands, so they pant to cool down. 40’ish degrees and sunny might seem a little cool to us, but it is quite warm for an eagle sitting in direct sunlight.
February 28, 2020: 6:10AM – https://youtu.be/glbs1vn1EAA. DNF is sleeping soundly. A light snow has dusted her back with sparkling flakes. She wakes up, stretches (look for eagle yoga at 2:06), preens a little, and goes back to sleep. We get a lovely close-up look at her snowy feathers starting around 4:33. Mr. North comes in for his shift at 6:14. DNF leaves and Mr. North settles in, rolling the eggs and shimmying them into place – although we don’t get much of a look at them behind the North eagles’ great wall!
Great Spirit Bluff
March 2, 2020: Newman at GSB
March 2, 2020: Newman’s Breakfast – https://youtu.be/DSLn1vF8Zyg. Newman enjoys a little breakfast and preening in bright morning sunshine. A lot of people are wondering when Michelle is going to arrive. Michelle has a history of arriving in early to mid-March, so we’ll be looking for her in the next couple of weeks!