It’s movie time! Mom and DM2 keep us guessing in Decorah, the Norths dance the stick tango and receive a visitor, and a juvenile eagle lands on an ice-covered runway on the Flyway. Thanks as always to our camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing the amazing world on and around our nests! We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did!
December 15, 2020: DM2 on N2B
December 15, 2020: 9am DM2 and Mom on M2, DM2 brings a stick to N2B – https://youtu.be/yNPJEhWHb7g. Mom and DM2 seem determined to keep us all on the Confusion Couch this year! After disappearing from N2B for 23 days, DM2 brought a stick in and he and Mom perched together in the maple tree.
Are we looking for a new nest? You can read more about that here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/12/16/as-the-nest-turns-another-nest/
Decorah North Nest
December 15, 2020: Shall we stick tango?
December 17, 2020: Fat squirrel, corn cob thief – https://youtu.be/bTEZX6O6iAw. A chunky fox squirrel hunts for treasure. It finds some yellow gold buried in the nest bowl and sits down for a quick snack before leaving with the rest tucked into its mouth. At 2:20, the camera operator finds it in the tree below the nest, still nibbling. The squirrel finishes its snack and returns to the nest for a little more prospecting!
December 15, 2020: Shall we stick tango? – https://youtu.be/k-IV-deFkqw. Mr. North and DNF dance the stick tango in the North ballroom! Short and funny, this video is a nice look at the nest-building bond – and an interaction that might look familiar to a few of us human types!
A visitor joins DNF and Mr. North – https://youtu.be/gDZykIwOjNQ. Mr. North is perched in a tree across the stream. DNF flies in at about 2:59, followed by a young adult at 3:52. DNF vocalizes but doesn’t respond aggressively, and the youngster doesn’t act aggressively or vocalize back. It adopts a submissive posture at 4:05 (head lowered, shoulders drooped, body tipped forward) and everyone appears to relax. DNF begins preening at about 5:30, going so far as to completely tuck her head under her wing, and the youngster takes off at 22:11.
Is this eagle related to the Norths? We don’t know, although we don’t think that adults recognize post-dispersal offspring, given that appearance and vocalizations change so much between dispersal and adulthood. We also know that adults tend to be more tolerant of subadults and more social in general than we thought. This situation was not at all threatening: it isn’t nesting season, the visitor didn’t challenge Mr. North or DNF, and the Norths get a lot of traffic.
Mississippi Flyway / GSB Falcons
December 16, 2020: Eagle ice skating
December 16, 2020: Eagle ice-skating – https://youtu.be/EoYI7-NZvfk. Ice is beginning to form on the Mississippi river and one young eagle isn’t prepared for the icy landing strip! Begin at 28 seconds to see the whole fly-in and watch again at 44 seconds for a skilled take-off.
Odds and Ends
David Hecht shared this story about tracking Philippine Eagle Mal’lambugok.
Biological diversity improves happiness! This story is titled Birds improve happiness, which they do, but the original study included biodiversity as a metric. I know I’m happy when I see unexpected species at my feeders! https://www.ecowatch.com/birds-happiness-study-2649413979.html
Speaking of species diversity, Audubon tells us to watch for an incredible ‘superflight’ of winter finches as they irrupt from the northern boreal forest: https://www.audubon.org/news/this-winter-marks-incredible-superflight-hungry-winter-finches.