Kick back – it’s time for NestFlix! At Decorah North, D13 and D14 are growing like weeds and eating like pee-glets. The two will go from about 3.2 ounces to roughly 16 ounces or one pound in just seven days, which takes a lot of food! At just three and four days old, the tiny terrors are rapidly gaining strength and coordination, and of course the beak-bonking battles have begun. Look for this behavior to get a little worse as the eaglets establish their place in the food line/pecking order! It should drop off at around two weeks – about the time that coordination, weight, and rapidly growing beaks start to make the hits really hurt. At Great Spirit Bluff, falcon Zooey kills an Eastern meadowlark, giving us a look at the difference in how falcon, eagles, and hawks make their kills. And in Marshall, MO, the turkey vultures are back! We haven’t been able to watch this cam since the vultures left in 2014. It is a real treat to see them again!
Thanks to our camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing such special moments, and to all of you for watching, learning, and especially for caring!
Decorah Eagles North
March 29, 2021: D14 and D13
March 29, 2021: an Oopsie by DNF – https://youtu.be/a73Oux9nJMo. It’s a windy day and the nest tree is rocking and rolling! DNF is working on the crib rails when she accidentally brushes DN14 out of the egg cup with her tail. She quickly realizes that the eaglet has left the romper room and scoots it back in with her beak: wiggling, shifting, and moving a little material to get it to safety!
March 29, 2021: Eagle Nest Series #4 | Adorable little bobbleheads – https://youtu.be/0b5lTv6nIPA. This compilation video by Maaike features some wonderful feedings! At the beginning, we’re treated to a feeding by Mr. North. DN13 is right/front and DN14 is left/back. At 1:39, we see another feeding by Mr. North, along with a beak-bonk takedown by DN13 in the 4th minute. But DN14 is not afraid to bonk back, as we see at around 7:08 when DNF feeds! She delicately snips off little bites and does her best to feed the to her squirming young, who both get big bites and plenty of ooze to go with them! At 11:10, Mr. North and DNF do a tandem feeding before DNF puts on the teakettle and takes over!
Although the two eaglets are only about 24 hours apart, there are pronounced differences in their development and strength right now. It will be interesting to see how these differences play out as the eagles grow and sex takes over from age as the primary size determinant. Either way, DNF is an expert feeder and both eaglets got plenty to eat! You can see DN13’s swollen crop in a few places during DNF’s feeding.
Great Spirit Bluff Falcons
March 29, 2021: Female falcon Zooey
March 27, 2021: (Viewer Warning) Zooey caught a meadowlark and kills it – https://youtu.be/gjruoWNQjgM. Like Blue Jays and Northern Flickers, Meadowlarks are a favorite of falcons: large, flashy, and not especially swift flyers. In this video, Zooey catches a meadowlark. Usually falcons kill when they strike, hitting fast and immediately breaking the back or neck of the bird they targeted. But in this case, the meadowlark is still alive. Zooey subdues it with her feet and kills it, appearing to bite into its throat or perhaps its spine at about 59 seconds.
Eagles and hawks often kill with their feet, but a falcon uses its long, slender toes for gripping and grabbing, killing with its swift strike and sharp beak. While falcons often finish prey off by biting through their cervical vertebrae, Zooey appears to go in through the front. But her killing strike is swift and she does not begin plucking or eating the meadowlark while it is still alive.
Missouri Turkey Vultures
March 29, 2021: Turkey vulture in the loft in Marshall
March 29, 2021: The Turkey Vultures are back! https://youtu.be/44D8dL2bYVQ. The Missouri Turkey Vultures have returned to the barn. In this video, a male and female turkey vulture check out the barn. They commonly return this time of the year and lay eggs in late April or early May. We look forward to seeing both of them! This camera can be watched live on our website: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/missouri-turkey-vultures/.