What is going on with the Decorah Eagles?

What is going on with the Decorah eagles? We saw them maybe 13 or 14 times in January and DM2 delivered nesting materials just twice – a far cry from the nestoration activity we’re used to this time of the year! But we suddenly started seeing a lot more of them on February 14. Mom and DM2 are hanging out on and around the nest, removing snow, and refurbishing the place with new cornhusks, sticks, and rabbit fur. Are they having second thoughts about their new digs?

We don’t know why Mom and DM2 decided to build the yonder-yonder nest, which Sue and Benny Bruhling located on December 17 of 2020. Everyone had suggestions: maybe Mom and DM2 disliked the work at the hatchery, or our nestorations, or the people that came to see them. Maybe DM2 preferred a little more peace and quiet, or wanted to build his own nest, or originated in the vicinity of the new nest and wanted to move back. They could well have had motivations that we don’t understand or know about. While nesting bald eagles are territorial, eagles attract eagles, and we observed plenty of them near the new nest. Perhaps a concentration of eagles pulled them away from N2B, or maybe a preferred food source boomed near the new nest. Maybe it was a combination of things. As usual, they aren’t responding to our questions!

Will they come back to N2B?
February 17, 2021: Mom mantles a rabbit at N2B

February 17, 2021: Mom mantles a rabbit at N2B

Could anything cause them to switch nests so close to egg laying? Like many other places, Decorah is experiencing a record-setting polar plunge. Based on feedback from one of our local reporters, we think the water beneath their new nest has largely frozen over. This could shift them back to the always-open retention pond pan-tree. If so, we hope they don’t mind all the geese!

So, will they nest at N2B? As John has repeatedly reminded us, we won’t know what they’re going to do until they do it! But it’s been a lot of fun to watch them again. The next week or so should tell. In the meantime, feel more than welcome to join us on the Confusion Couch and the Decorah Eagles page. We’ve got enough room for everyone!