It’s a NestFlix megaroll! We have videos from Decorah, Decorah North, Fort St. Vrain, and the Flyway, plus great bird news from Guam and Hawaii! This is a great time to start watching the Flyway – but keep your eyes peeled, since spring migration happens very quickly!
Today marks about 24 days until hatch in Decorah, 17 days until hatch at Decorah North, and 13 days until hatch at Xcel Fort St. Vrain – although remember, it could come a little earlier or a little later than we predict. Thanks for watching, learning, caring, and sharing. Tick-tock hatch clock!
March 10, 2020: Nice Mom fly-in, eggs, shift change – https://youtu.be/AF-RZ7O–gI. As of this writing, we are roughly 24 days from hatch. Our oldest egg is about 13 days old, our middle egg is about 10 days old, and our youngest is about six days old. Mom and DM2 are deep into incubation – note that DM2, like Dad before him, seems to perfecting his ‘I can’t see you!’ look – and check out his eggline at 1:21.
March 9, 2020: Frosty morning on Mom, N2B – https://youtu.be/xZk5KCP_XlM and Mom’s raindrop diamonds, close up: https://youtu.be/5GQeMkxnYFY. Don’t like the weather in Iowa? Wait five minutes! While these two videos were actually taken six hours apart, they provide an excellent – and beautiful! look at how an eagle’s feathers protect it from wet and cold. Be sure to take a look at Mom’s face at 1:27. See the short head feathers that sweep straight back from her face? These feathers cover her earholes, which we can’t quite see here, and are visibly different from the rest of her headfeathers. They are believed to reduce wind noise while allowing the passage of sound through her feathers and into her ears.
This video is incredible – I’m not kidding when I say I can’t watch it enough!
March 9, 2020: A Soft Release For D32 Update From SOAR – https://youtu.be/hF_-3cP6Tb0. We shared this via Facebook but I thought that everyone would enjoy seeing a video. Life Media runs over each eagle’s history and includes information about the latest release.
If you just started following us, you might not know that eaglets at Decorah and Decorah North abandoned their nests early last year due to blackflies. To learn more about them, follow this link: https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/06/24/blackflies/.
March 7, 2020: DM2 closeups in sunlight – https://youtu.be/FYPrKGReQz8. Fans of DM2 will love this! Take some time to practice your ID skills and admire DM2 on a windy day in Decorah. I especially liked his Einstein hairdo in the 6th minute!
Decorah North Eagles
March 9, 2020: Soaked brooding mom – https://youtu.be/HmfuKlplqwE. DNF is extremely wet in this video. Although her feathers appear to be keeping most of the water out, it’s hard not to feel for her as she incubates in the soaking rain. Most eagles are excellent, attentive parents and they go through a lot to raise young from eggs to fledglings, as DNF makes clear in this video. Check 16:20 to see her earhole – the large dark spot behind her eye – through her soaked feathers.
March 9, 2020: DNF Flies In With cornstalk&Shift Change – https://youtu.be/765245nwFD0. The local Nest Depot must have a BOGO on cornstalks, because the nest is absolutely full of them! We can’t see much of the eggs and DNF has to pick her way carefully through the thicket of stalks to get to the egg cup. Check out 1:28 to see her roll her eggs with her feet! Mrs. North and DM2 have also been observed rolling with their feet, but Mom and Mr. North have not.
March 8, 2020: Beautiful close-ups of Mr. North – https://youtu.be/LHXIbKwkPEI. Wow! This video is absolutely incredible – if we get any closer, we’ll be looking at Mr. North’s DNA! I hope you enjoy eight minutes and forty-seven seconds of Mr. North as much as I did!
Xcel Fort St. Vrain Eagles
March 10, 2020: FSV morning clip – https://youtu.be/SBnpkvvuV30. In this short clip from FSV, Ma FSV mantles to protect her eggs from an unknown danger. Given the time of day, the direction of her gaze, and the noises in the background, I would guess she is concerned about another bird or birds near the nest. There is quite obviously a group of starlings and we’re also hearing red-winged blackbirds. I don’t hear any magpies – my first guess outside another bird of prey.
Mississippi River Flyway
March 9, 2020: Mississipi River Flyway is getting busy again – https://youtu.be/5BlaRAwqZ5g. Birds are on their way north! We see bald eagles, what I think are common goldeneye ducks, some mergansers, two gulls, and geese in flight. The spring migration tends to be short and intense, so I encourage everyone to watch it now! https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/flyway-cam/
Odds and Ends
Guam Rails are no longer extinct in the wild: https://www.ecowatch.com/guam-rails-2645391733.html. This is an extremely cool article and I figure everyone could use some good news. We can make a difference!
Albatross chicks settle in at Kahuku refuge after long trip: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/03/06/hawaii-news/albatross-chicks-settle-in-at-kahuku-refuge-after-long-trip/. This is so cool! Another 25 black-footed albatross chicks have been transported from Midway Atoll to the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu’s North Shore. The chicks made the 1,300-mile journey by plane in late February, and have now settled into their new home at the refuge in Kahuku, where they will be hand-fed fish and squid and assigned a shaded place to rest beneath wooden A-frames. Go, black-footed albatrosses!