We have your NestFlix! As you probably already know, we had two hatches at Decorah North today. Both eaglets ate and are getting the very best of care from Mom and Dad DNF and Mr. North! At Great Spirit Bluff, Nova laid her third egg and Newman and Nova show us exuberant falcon flight. My heart lifted just to watch them!
It’s a hard time and we’re glad that so many of you are seeking comfort here. We will get through this and, in the meantime, I hope the rhythms of the season spark joy in your hearts. Thank you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring. The biggest of eagle hugs and sweet eagle dreams to everyone near and far. The eagle and falcon nations are strong!
Decorah North Eagles: March 31, 2020
March 31, 2020: DN11 and DN12
DN11 and DN12 has hatch: https://youtu.be/YMgT4gmLohU. Were you as surprised as we were when that second little head popped up? I (this is Amy) should have known to look at the nesting record (found below the video feed – click ‘Nest Records’ and ‘Detailed Annual Information’ to explore it for yourself)! If I had, I would have seen that last year’s hatches were almost 24 hours apart, although little DN10 didn’t make it very long. It was wonderful to see DN11 get its first feeding this morning! It is strong enough to sit up and take a tiny bite of meat, but it still doesn’t have good control over large motor movements. That will change quickly!
How do eagle parents feed tiny hatchlings? RRP Director John Howe inspired this blog about eagle tongues and beaks. They are a lot more sensitive than they look! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/04/05/bald-eagle-tongues-and-beaks/
Lil Bites of Food for DN11 DN12: https://youtu.be/zx9m5liIXdQ. Exactly as the title says! It is amazing to see the delicacy with which eagle parents lop off and feed tiny bites – no bone and almost no fur, feathers, or scales – to their little hatchlings. Both eaglets ate well!
Why the saliva? We talked to eagle researcher Jim Grier about this a few years back. He felt it could be a byproduct of salt removal – some birds excrete excess saline through glands near their eyes – or serve to moisten food, making it easier to get down. While some eagles appear to drool more than others, we have also seen this at the Decorah nest.
March 31, 2020: Nova with egg #3
March 31, 2020: Nova laid 3rd egg for the season 2020 – https://youtu.be/V85SIcXn6-k. Nova laid her third egg for the season. She could lay one more (four-egg clutches are common) or two more (five-egg clutches are rare, but it happens). This is an excellent look at peregrine falcon egg laying. Like our eagle Moms, Nova’s back is arched up as the egg passes through her. We can see contractions, although she remains silent throughout her labor. Once the egg is laid and she recovers from her labor, she moves them under her body and begins incubation.
Hatch usually begins around 33 days after the third egg is laid, which should put the first hatch around Sunday, May 3rd. If she lays another egg, we should see it on April 2nd, give or take a few hours.
March 30, 2020: Nova and Newman flying/gliding together – https://youtu.be/jPcCE3urQJI. Imagine if you could spread your wings and have the sky before you! Newman and Nova fly exhuberantly together, an important part of peregrine courtship and bonding. It is beautiful – and the camera operator does an amazing job sharing it with us! This is an older video of fledgling falcon Carson feeling the wind and flying, but I shared it because it captures that same feeling of joy: https://youtu.be/_Epd7MA7-oc.