Happy Fri-yay, everyone! We’ll keep the news short and sweet: today Decorah eaglets D34 and D35 turn 33 days old and D36 turns 30 days old, and DN12 at the North nest turns 38 days old – about halfway through an eaglet’s 75 to 80 day nest life! We had our first peregrine falcon hatch at Great Spirit Bluff last night, with possibly more to come, and we also have falcon hatchlings at Dairyland Power Genoa and MPL Hibbard. Thank you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring! We wish you hope, health, and sweet eagle and falcon dreams, and we hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did!
May 8, 2020: Eaglet closeups – https://youtu.be/J-2TiDA0a1Q. For everyone who can’t get enough of our great gangly grey tweeneagles, we have a cuddle puddle with flxing yellow clown clompers, taupe talons, emerging feather cloaks, disappearing dandelion puffs, and sleepy eaglets. I especially enjoyed a look at all four feather types we see here: white natal down peruke wigs and mohawks, grey thermal down, rapidly emerging juvenile pinfeathers and covert cloaks, and Mom’s beautiful adult plumage.
May 8, 2020: D34 shows off wings, DM2 brings sucker fish – https://youtu.be/W5EvA30gOE8. The wingercizing action starts at 1:20 as D34 feels the wind before doing a little preening! Check 3:15 to see it sitting up next to Mom, who is sporting a little beak bling! Mom puts the teakettle on at 5:05 as DM2 brings in a little fish for early tea. Wondering where the eagle love went? We have a blog about that! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/05/09/what-is-up-with-our-eagle-moms/.
May 7, 2020: Mom brings fish – https://youtu.be/bKLRk_ziMik. I love this video! We’re at the point of down emergence where it is easy to tell the eaglets apart and everyone is doing things a little differently! D35 is working on its silly walks (all joking aside, D35 is moving well on its feet). D34 and D36 are serious about lunch behind the new grass picket fence. We get some nice close-ups of the triple threat at 6:46 as everyone finally gets in the mood for lunch! Note that D35 sneaks in for a little self-snacking at 11:20 while D36 and D34 focus on Mom.
May 6, 2020: D35 and D36 try to self feed – https://youtu.be/msCKhbQShec. The video opens with a nice look at the eaglets. At two minutes, D35 makes a pretty credible attempt to self-feed, grasping a fish in its talons. Unfortunately, D35 starts with the tail – not a very easy place to break into the fish! D36 watches closely and eventually moves in on it. When D35 doesn’t want to share, D36 finds its own fish. Hmmm – how do eat this thing? D36 makes a pretty good run at the gill at 8:00 minutes, but can’t figure it out either. Breakfish in bed doesn’t work so well when Mom isn’t feeding you! Mom finally moves in to give everyone an unzipping lesson and a little fish!
May 5, 2020: Mom brings in a huge branch – https://youtu.be/U4Phr-fGzUs. Magnificent Mom is a lumberjill! She brings in a very large branch, finagles it around the eagles, and works it into place. Bringing in play perches or raising the cribrails for the every-more-mobile eaglets? This large stick – which appears to be freshly broken off! – could do either one. If you enjoy her lumberjacking, she appear to be serious about raising those rails. Here is another video from May 7, 2020: https://youtu.be/2ajMiYo4dQc
Decorah Eagles North
May 7, 2020: pin feathers tail feathers and a fish for dinner – https://youtu.be/LJLxKVK0py4. Beautiful views of pin feathers, tailfeathers, and DN12’s covert cloak! I love seeing all the different textures, shapes, and feathers as the eaglets grow and change!
May 6th, 2020: Intruder alert! https://youtu.be/1SJ_MVPgXZw. Mr. North and DNF warn an intruder away from the nest. Look for a quick flyby at about 1:33.
May 6, 2020: DN12 grabs the fish that Mr. North brought – https://youtu.be/vVYqqyCJwqQ. It’s tug-o-fish between Mr. North and DN12 as DN12 lunges in for the steal! Mr. North was planning on feeding his eaglet and takes the fish back. He can’t feed fast enough for DN12, who doesn’t seem to feel sated unless it has a softball-sized crop or better!
May 5, 2020: DN12 wingercizing – https://youtu.be/3tInHEdIfEM. Holy cow – look at DN12! Wingercizing has gone from silly to serious as DN12 steps up on its feet and flaps its wings with everything it has! Compare its size with that of Mr. North. While we are seeing a little positioning bias – DN12 is closer to the camera and so looks larger – the similarity in size is still astounding!
Great Spirit Bluff
We posted these videos separately, but the hatch was so exciting that I thought I would include them in the round-up as well!
May 8, 2020: 1st Feeding – https://youtu.be/mY_w64CcAtQ. Like peaglets, little falcons are always hungry! Hatchlings require small meals multiple times per day to support their growth rates. This little falcon will reach roughly adult size and weight just 24-25 days from today!
May 8, 2020: Newman 1st look at eyass – https://youtu.be/y7G5RwvQ6GM. It’s a shift change! Newman takes over from Nova as she leaves the nest box to stretch her wings. If you watch this video, you’ll see that she moves out very slowly and he moves in the same way, holding his feet loosely to prevent damage to eggs or hatchlings. This is a great example of two unconcerned peregrine parents handing off brooding duty – and a good example of instinct or a fixed-action pattern! Nova, a first time parent as far as we know, still moves slowly and carefully around her eggs and young.
May 8, 2020: First eyass of the season! https://youtu.be/gizvfzlkL0E. Our first brief glimpse of the first hatchling. I went back over our records and was fascinated to see that Michelle’s first hatches tended to happen during the day. We’ll see what time egg #2 hatches!
May 7, 2020: Newman incubating late at night: https://youtu.be/Bn4lWeYF9jc. ‘Egg talking’ starts at 1:42 in the video below, although you might need to turn up the volume to hear it. Ethologically, egg-talk could be described as a fixed action pattern: an instinctive behavioral sequence that is highly stereotyped and species-characteristic. Putting it in modern terms, wouldn’t you vibe back at a voice you vibed with?