We have your Monday morning mega-roll Nestflix! First, a nest round-up: the Decorah eaglets turn 14, 14, and 11 days old today, DN12 turns 20, the American Kestrels have four eggs, Nova and Newman have three eggs, and you should check out Explore’s Mississippi Flyway gallery if you need to catch up on the birds we have been seeing there (or just need some birds)!
I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the interaction between Mom and DM2 in ‘DM2 not ready to leave’, what looks like a dreaming eaglet in ‘Snoozing’, the ‘Great Escape’, DN12 and Mr. North’s at the North nest, and the Wisconsin kestrel laying her third egg. It often strikes me that eagle parents seem to enjoy lazy time with their children: sunbathing, preening, providing shade, and just hanging out. These videos all show some of that!
Thanks to our camera operators for finding such special moments, our videomakers for sharing them, and to you for watching, sharing, learning – and especially for caring. Have a great rest of your day, wherever you are!
April 18, 2020: Sweet Eagle Dreams from Decorah!
April 18, 2020: Decorah Babies breakfast! https://youtu.be/j3RQv4hlHKA. The video opens with a poop shoot from D35 (I think) at about 8 seconds, followed by one from D34 at 1:16. The eaglets are proficient poopers at this point, painting the crib rails and even hitting the poopcasso tree as they get better at sitting up, bending over, and letting things fly! Even though D36 is only a little over three days younger than D34 and D35, it looks tiny sandwiched between them! I liked the whole video, but I especially liked the scene at 4:43, when all three eaglets are looking up at Mom while they cuddle together at the bottom of the bowl. Their size is beginning to make brooding a challenge!
April 17, 2020: Mom arrives, DM2 not ready to leave – https://youtu.be/u7qAfcOAOOU. Mom brings in a large clump of soft nesting materials to carpet the nest bowl. She moves it in front of DM2, bows her head, gives him a little side eye, and indicates that it’s her turn to take over brooding duties. DM2 has no interest in getting up – he’s comfortable in the bark-a-lounger and like his new eaglet slippers! She slowly starts moving in and vocalizes softly to DM2, who gets up, moves off the eaglets, and flies north in the direction of N1. Mom sees something at 7:42 and starts vocalizing. We hear DM2 off in the distance but don’t know what the eagles are responding to (although there have been a few intruder eagles on the territory, at least one of which got fairly close to the nest [https://youtu.be/kM06HyhLjzU]). Mom settles over the eaglets shortly afterwards.
April 17, 2020: Snoozing, flexing wings and clown feet, getting feisty – https://youtu.be/onQ4xPxZvLU. Look at those clown clompers! The two oldest eaglets both turned 12 days old today. Their footpads are growing rapidly, their opaque white talons are just beginning to turn black, and their feet and legs are yellowing. Perhaps the D35 is dreaming as it slumbers contentedly while flexing its feet and, at 3:57, moving its wings. All the eaglets wake up when Mom shifts position at 4:45 and D34 bites Mom’s wing at 5:57, earning a stern reprimand. Fighting with siblings is one thing, but don’t bite Mom’s wing! What looks an awful lot like displaced aggression follows: having been bonked by Mom, D34 decides to bonk everyone else. D35 and D36 quickly submit as Mom moves away.
April 17, 2020: Three full tummies! https://youtu.be/YAu0SoATm_k. Order, from front to back: D35, D36, and D34. All three eaglets line up nicely for a little breakfish in bed! Look for a warble by D35 at 1:46 (those tiny wings are very cute!) and check out the big bites that Mom is doling out to the two older peaglets! At 4:13, we see her pick up a very large scrap of meat, look at the three, and toss it aside – apparently they aren’t quite ready for anything that big yet! We see something similar at 4:36 – D35 makes a try, but Mom pulls the bite and eats it herself! Everyone fed, Mom tucks them in under her feathery coverlet and settles down for some brooding!
April 16, 2020: D34 and D35 climb out of the nestbowl – https://youtu.be/LrfBKKbjwGg. It’s the great escape! D34 and D35 make a run for it, crawling out of the egg cup and closer to Mombrella’s parasol! Mom eventually flies up to the Skywalk for a babysitting break, leaving the no-longer-so little eaglets home alone in the nest!
The eaglets aren’t standing on their feet yet, but they’ve gotten awfully good at the tarsus shuffle and are beginning to expand their nest explorations. The week ahead promises to be be warm and mostly sunny, which should have the tiny triple threat exploring the nest bowl and sprawling in the sun! Panting is very normal: eagles don’t have sweat glands, so they sprawl, pant, and seek shade to stay cool.
April 18, 2020: DN12 bites a cornstalk at Decorah North
April 18, 2020: DN12 is 17 days old and growing fast! https://youtu.be/qGqF4CibsFw. Wow! Eaglet growth never ceases to amaze me! DN12 is growing in its grey flannel suit, gaining weight, and expanding! We see it preen and sunbathe starting around 3:20, grooming its rapidly growing wings while sitting up tall next to Dad Mr. North. We get a peek at its bulging cropzilla at 4:26 and again at 6:50, after it turns around. Check the eighth minute 8:20 clown clompers, a warble, brief eaglet explorations, and more preening, and 11:53 for an adorable interaction with Papa, followed by a few ‘just like my Papa’ moments. I really enjoyed watching the two interact and hang out together on the nest!
April 16, 2020: DN12 has monster crop! https://youtu.be/u2LOSq2ypxk. DN12 enjoys breakfast in bed, possibly because it is too stuffed to stand!
April 16, 2020: Third kestrel egg for the Wisconsin Kestrels
April 16, 2020: Mom Kestrel lays egg #3 – https://youtu.be/sB03MXbQFKY. Mom Kestrel is in hard egg labor at the opening of this video. As we see with eagles and falcons, she stands up, leans forward, and pushes hard, with visible contractions, to expel the egg. Once the egg is laid, she briefly rests and then takes a quick break before resuming incubation.