Nine inches of snow at the North nest!

Decorah North Eagles

How much snow did we get at the North nest during Sunday’s storm? According to one of the landowners, we got nine inches! DNF expertly incubated the eggs throughout, trading places with Mr. North this morning for a well-deserved wing stretch! In the first minute of this video, we get a nice look at just how deep the snow was when the storm stopped yesterday evening. DNF has shaken it off several times, but her head is barely visible above the drifts! At 1:50, we get a great look at Mr. North this morning, as he responds to something he doesn’t like. We can see how both eagles have flattened the snow with their tails, wings, chests, and neck, pushing it down and away, and making it a little less likely to fall into the nest. Video maker Maaike also has some beautiful footage, including a nice time lapse, a great slow-mo shake-off, and some lovely close-ups of DNF:

How much does the snow weigh? We don’t know how wet it was, so I used the ‘fresh snow’ setting here: While nine inches fell overall, there weren’t nine inches distributed evenly over the nest. To compensate, I set a shorter width and length. With the length set to four feet, the width set to six feet, and the depth set to nine inches, I got between 56.16 – 78.66 pounds! If you’d like to play around with it, try different snow settings to see what a difference things like wet, wind, and ice can make!

Why do female bald eagles tend to incubate through major storms and at night? We think their larger body size helps them withstand the cold during long periods of inactivity better than their smaller male counterparts.

Mississippi Flyway Cam

February 20, 2021: Coyote action – The recent polar plunge had most animals holed up in their dens. Now that the weather is finally warming up, they are coming out to explore again! A lone coyote trots across the snow ‘dunes’, foraging for food and checking out interesting scents.