December 20, 2020: Nestflix from Decorah North and the Flyway!

We have your Friday Night Nestflix! Kick back with your favorite drinks and snacks while you spend some time with us and Decorah North and the Mississippi Flyway. I liked all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed stick tango, DNF’s lumberjill adventures, the beautiful juvenile eagle on the Flyway, and magnificent close-ups of a sandhill crane. Thanks to our camera operators and videomakers for finding and sharing such magnificent moments, and to you for watching, learning, and especially for caring. Happy Fri-yay, everyone!

Decorah North

December 11, 2020: DNF Brings in Large Stick Branch to The Nest. DNF flies out of the nest at the beginning of the video. At about 45 seconds, we hear a stick break and Mr. North turns to watch. At 50 seconds, we see her balancing on the large limb that supports the nest, a stick clutched in her talon. Since she isn’t able to hop into the nest from her location, she flies out and circles around the field to gain the lift she needs to bring her treasure to the nest. YouTube link:

How much weight can a bald eagle carry?

December 10, 2020: Going for a stick. Start the video at 1:00 to see Mr. North prune a stick for his nest. Eagles sometimes snap sticks in flight, but they also prune and re-purpose sticks to keep favorite perches and sightlines clear. This is a look at the latter. YouTube link:

December 10, 2020: Stick battle! Shall we dance the stick tango? The video opens with DNF moving a stick. Mr. North has his own idea about where it should go and grabs one end. DNF takes it away after a brief stick tango, but the two do it all over again at :35 (and DNF wins again)! This is a great look at bald eagle stick obsession, stick tango, and the way in which nestorations cement pair bonds. YouTube link:

Do you ever think about the stick-shaped part of an eagle’s brain, i.e. the neurons that respond selectively to particular combinations of color and shape? We know that even young nestlings respond to sticks and nesting material. As you can see here, this part of their brain goes into overdrive in the run-up to egg laying!

December 8, 2020: DNF fights with a branch. Lumberjill DNF brings in a very large and wonky stick, which fights her at every turn! At 1:17, she puts everything she has into placing it, raising her wings, footing it, and using her large beak to exert leverage. Still, the stick resists. Determined DNF continues to try to move it according to her design – she has plans, after all! After six minutes, she finally gets the stick placed to her liking! YouTube link:

I really enjoyed this video. It was fun to watch and we got a great look at the new wing of the North’s treetop palace. Like tree rings, I love how each year’s layer is visible in this nest.

Mississippi Flyway

December 11, 2020: Flyway Friday: Sandhill Cranes. A Sandhill Crane preens its feathers, expertly nibbling and pulling with its long, dark beak to remove dirt and straighten feathers. We are treated to the vocalizations of cranes, ducks, and swans throughout. At the end of the video, the camera pulls back to show us more birds foraging in the shallow waters of Lake Onalaska on the Mississippi River. YouTube link:

December 10, 2020: Beautiful Juvenile Bald Eagle. A beautiful juvenile bald eagle sits on a snag in the river, perfectly reflected in the dark waters below. Is it eyeing its reflection or looking for prey? At 5:21, the eaglet splashes into the water and retrieves a scrap of floating detritus. It nibbles and drops and nibbles and drops. Is this thing edible? It eventually eats whatever it is and fishes a little more out of the water before flying away. YouTube link:

December 5, 2020: Sandhill Crane closeup. Amy would like to apologize for her Sandhill Crane obsession, but this is simply magnificent! YouTube link: