What a day it was in Decorah! Once Mom and DM2 decided it was time to get going on nestorations, they didn’t waste any time. We saw sticks, corn husks, cornstalks, and road kill in N2B today! At Decorah North, an opossum collects leaves with its tail. On the Flyway, two beautiful bald eagles stand next two one another, casting lovely reflections on the still water. I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as we did. Thank you so much to our camera operators and videomakers for finding and sharing such amazing moments with of all of us – and to you for watching, sharing, learning, and caring. We couldn’t be happier now that Mom and DM2 are back on the job!
November 19, 2020: Mom at N2B
November 19, 2020: Highlights: Nestorations at N2B – https://youtu.be/zMdQVUZX6w8. It was a busy morning at N2B! Mom and DM2 (but mostly Mom) kicked nestorations into high gear this morning with the delivery of large sticks, small sticks and, best of all, some cornhusk bouquets! We consider the deal sealed and look forward to watching events proceed at N2B. Look for deliveries at :02 (stick), 1:58 (two talons full of husks and stalks),and 4:05 (a very long slender wonky stick that still has buds on it). We briefly see DM2 at around 1:40 (be careful, DM2!) and nice close-ups of Mom at 3:09. We are so excited! Squeeeeeee!
November 19, 2020: Shall we stick tango? https://youtu.be/LmAtdyEvin8. Mom flies into the nest with a stick, but DM2 gets it away from her! The two briefly stick tango before Mom decides that DM2 can place it.
Decorah North Eagles
November 19, 2020: An opossum carries leaves at the North Nest
November 19, 2020: Opossum carrying leaves – https://youtu.be/hE11g0YiPME. Okay, opossum fans – this one is for you! An opossum is lining its burrow with dry leaves that will help keep it warm through the winter. While Mr. North and DNF incubate eggs through a frigid February, this opossum will slumber in the ground below them. Opossum don’t hibernate, but they do slow down in cold weather. They also don’t dig their own burrows, but they will use dens and burrows that other animals have abandoned. Several websites mention that trees might be safer, but I’m not sure that is the case near the North nest! So what dug this hole? We see and hear coyotes out here, so perhaps it doubles as a coyote den in the spring. It could also have started as a fox den or a groundhog burrow, although this doesn’t quite look like a groundhog burrow to me.
November 17, 2020: Eagle Reflections on the Flyway
November 17, 2020: Eagle Reflections – https://youtu.be/PlVoqc-v5C4. Two eagles stand side by side in the still shallow waters of the Mississippi River. Judging by their plumage, these are young adults. Not much happens in this video, but I loved their reflections and the way they so often appeared to coordinate their behavior. Note their body language: this pair is too young to be bonded, but perhaps they have some interest in one another!
Odds and Ends
What kind of raptor is that? https://raptorresource.education/what-kind-of-raptor-is-it/. Learn to identify hawk species and age with this quiz based on birds we caught at our banding station in Decorah, Iowa. If you’d like to freshen your knowledge before you take the quiz, read this blog: https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/10/23/its-a-bird-its-a-plane-no-its-a-buteo/
Birds Sing to Their Eggs, and This Song Might Help Their Babies Survive Climate Change: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/birds-sing-to-their-eggs-and-this-song-might-help-their-babies-survive-climate-change. Mod Bob sent me this and it is a fascinating read!