We have your NestFlix mega-roll, but first I want to address a question that seems to be on everyone’s mind. Are the Decorah Eagles building a new nest? While they’ve brought some sticks in – Mom just this yesterday! – they are far behind their usual building schedule. It is very warm for early November, but late October of 2020 was pretty similar to that of 2019 and 2018. Even if weather is a factor – and that is a big ‘if’ this time of the year – it doesn’t seem to correlate especially well with the lack of activity this year. Our local boots on the ground haven’t spotted any new nest building activities (Dave Kester was out watching just this morning), so we’ll have to see what the next couple of weeks bring. If we don’t see activity ramping up in the next two weeks, we’ll be covering the territory with a fine-toothed comb! Meanwhile and as usual, we are on eagle time and in the no worry zone!
I hope you enjoy these NestFlix – and seeing Mom with a stick! – as much as I did! Looking for a little peace of mind? Take a look at the last video in this round-up. As always, thanks to our camera operators for finding such special moments (I don’t know how you do it!), our video makers for sharing them, and to you for watching, learning, and caring! Eagle on, everyone!
November 5, 2020: Mom with a wonky stick, N2B
November 5, 2020: Mom’s wonky stick – https://youtu.be/ytLzp5TbMKA. Mom Decorah brings an early Christmas Decorah-ation to N2B! She works on placing her wonky stick. Where should it go and how will she get it there? Unfortunately, the stick snags and fledges as she flies out.
Bald eagle nests need constant replenishing as old sticks compact, compost, or slip off the nest. Wonky sticks like this help lock the nest together, reducing loss to slippage and reinforcing the nest as tree limbs move in the breeze and pull the nest in different directions.
November 4, 2020: Fishy breakfast at Decorah! https://youtu.be/iRDh_V_Nisk and https://youtu.be/b0YVSwvqfvA. DM2 feeds himself a super-sized floppy breakfish on the Skywalk! You might need to watch between your fingers – this is a very fresh breakfish! – but it is pretty interesting to watch DM2 expertly eat his fish while comparing it to the initial struggles of the eaglets to self-feed. He carves, slices, and serves it up like a master sushi chef! Look for beak feaking at 28:03 and check out DM2’s full crop towards the end of the video.
We keep hearing a loud bird in the background – check the 14th and 15th minutes for some good examples. I’m not sure exactly what it is, although it sounds a lot like a food begging eagle. The young adult from a few days ago could still be in the area or a new eagle could have floated in on the breeze. Either way, DM2 doesn’t seem concerned about it.
November 4, 2020: An owl strikes DM2 – https://youtu.be/UQ0c26pccVI. Decorah eagles DM2 and Mom are roosting near their nest at about 4:15am CT. We can see Mom, who is low in the tree, but we don’t see DM2 until an owl strikes him, knocking him from the tree. Mom awakes, assesses the situation, and begins peal calling for her mate, who answers from the darkness. The strike is captured in slow motion at the end of the video. The size and behavior of the owl makes me think it is a GHO.
November 1, 2020: DM2 joins Mom for conversation & sunset silhouettes – https://youtu.be/E9ubdfcIC8I. Feel your cares and worries fade as we join Mom and DM2 on the Skywalk to watch the sun go down. This is a beautiful video.
October 30, 2020: Beautiful scenery, gorgeous fly-away – https://youtu.be/xUdfxFRnXGc. Step into Decorah-dise for a golden sunset and DM2’s gorgeous fly away from the Y-Branch at 3:29.
Decorah North Eagles
November 5, 2020: Mr. North and DNF
November 5, 2020: North nestorations – https://youtu.be/MbdM0L6bEpA. DNF is in the North nest when mate Mr. North drops in – pretty literally! – from above. They begin shredding and moving husks and other soft materials. Mr. North, true to form, places everything very carefully. Bald eagle nestorations begin far in advance of egg laying at this latitude. It takes a lot of prep work to build a nest that will support incubation in February’s sub-zero weather! I added a slow-motion clip of Mr. North’s drop-in at the end of the video.
November 1, 2020: The North’s do some early morning nestoration – https://youtu.be/85HvQYIlup0. It is a windy morning in the North nest, but that doesn’t stop DNF or Mr. North! Look for a really beautiful flyout by DNF at 2:26. Mr. North follows at 2:50.
October 30, 2020: Eastern Screech Owl – https://youtu.be/h34gW2RoXcM. Learn more about them here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Screech-Owl/lifehistory.
October 29, 2020: A deer and a coyote looking for breakfast – https://youtu.be/aYXn-XCpo7I. A beautiful buck seems to pose for the camera as it looks over the Valley of the Norths. Rut is coming and bucks are preparing! At 28 seconds, we see a coyote. Note how well it blends in with its surroundings! Like the eagles, it seems to respond to the neighborhood crow watch. It looks the valley over before trotting away.
October 26, 2020: Some of the small birds in the area – https://youtu.be/IfPs-FXT-ds. We get to see a lot of big, flashy migrating waterfowl on our Flyway cam, but the little ones are on the move too! Bird number one is an American Goldfinch eating thistle seeds. Bird number two is an Eastern Bluebird. Bird number three is unknown. It is eating hemp seeds. Bird number four is an American Goldfinch eating hemp seeds. We see it again eating a plant I’m not familiar with. Bird number six is a Dark-eyed Junco (you might know it as a Slatey-backed Junco). These ground foragers nest in the north and are a familiar sight at area birdfeeders in the winter.
Eagle Tree, Lake Onalaska
November 2, 2020: Migration at full swing – https://youtu.be/tceCcyamZUY. Birds beyond counting swirl in the air and vocalize to one another. Goodbye! Goodbye!
Interested in migration? We have a blog for that! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/10/18/on-migration/
October 29, 2020: Eagle island FULL of bald eagles – long video for your eagle fix! https://youtu.be/cgiOOFV2Dyw. It’s a music video! This footage was shot from the Great Spirit Bluff cam. It is peaceful and beautiful. Put it up on the big screen and feel yourself relax!
Odds and Ends
You asked us about the SW Florida and Trio eagles, and we answered! Read it here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/11/02/eagle-musings-sw-florida-fulton-trio-mississippi-flyway/
Looking for holiday gifts? https://www.zazzle.com/store/rrp_gifts_and_more