We have your news and Nestflix! DN13 and DN14 are growing by leaps and bounds and gaining new skills as they expand their explorations by walking around the nest, attempting to self-feed, and taking defurring lessons from DNF. I loved all these videos (April 22 was a very big day in the nest!), but don’t miss DN13 walking (albeit a little unsteadily), DNF talking in her sleep (this is beyond cool), and DN14 preening Dad Mr. North. At GSB, Newman brings in a Northern Flicker for Zooey, and the American Kestrels have a conversation in their nest box. Who’s turn is it to incubate? Hers!
Thanks so much for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring!
Decorah North Eagles
April 22, 2021: Full and sleepy, DN14 relaxes in the bottom of the nest. It turned 25 days old today.
April 23, 2021: Mr. North brings in a stick and DN13 walks across the nest – https://youtu.be/6QMgA_6ntUM and https://youtu.be/wNAQ6nGPIAo. Time to raise the crib rails – the eaglets are beginning – a little clumsily – to walk around the nest! I loved to see DN13 standing on its big yellow clown clompers to carefully walk around and explore, moving from one side of the nest towards its sibling, as if to say “Look what I can do!”.
April 23, 2022: DNF talking in her sleep – https://youtu.be/TC05oxmOdCw. DNF is dreaming. She wakes up and calls for her mate. He answers and she goes back to sleep.
A flashback blog on eagle dreaming: https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/02/20/sweet-eagle-dreams/.
April 22, 2021: A lesson in defurring – https://youtu.be/6dFp3lPhsV8. DNF gives DN13 and DN14 a lesson in food prep 101 as she defurs an opossum in front of them. The two are beginning self-feeding attempts, but don’t yet know how to unzip their own food. DNF’s defurring lesson helps them to learn the skills they will need post-fledge, since she and Mr. North won’t always be around to provide in-nest meal service!
April 22, 2021: Food stealing and DN14 trying to self-feed: https://youtu.be/0yfBw6RMgA0 and https://youtu.be/Vu27qN__3e4. Two short, sweet videos! In the first video, DNF is feeding the eaglets. DN13 takes a chunk of meat but DN14 goes in for the steal and grabs it! In the second video, DN14 tries to self-feed on what looks like an old piece of bone, sitting on it and trying to strip tiny pieces of meat or tendon from the end.
April 22, 2021: From stream to tummies – https://youtu.be/3LwqRIu3DRo. DNF catches a fish in the stream at about 47 seconds. She flies out with at at 2:38 and brings it to the nest (look for a very cool transition/flyby starting at about 2:55). The hungry little pea-glets shuffle over to her, although DN13 has to cast a pellet before it can stuff any more food down.
April 21, 2021: Wings & feet growing so fast, nestoration attempts – https://youtu.be/pko2xLSgDB8. We get excellent views of wings, feet, faces, and (at about 6:28) a poop shoot and nestoration attempts! I love to see eaglets at play – it’s such a wonderful reminder of eaglet curiosity! – but I really loved DN14 nibbling at and preening Dad/Mr. North beginning around 6:40, and seeming to feak its beak at around 7:36.
Great Spirit Bluff
April 23, 2021: Zooey! We can still see a few brown juvenile feathers and her lovely peach/buff breast feathers – considered a trait of the anatum subspecies
April 23, 2021: Northern Flicker for Zooey! – https://youtu.be/Q9T7bCOv-xk. Newman brings Zooey a Northern Flicker, Yellow-Shafted form. You might have grown up calling these birds Yellow-Shafted Flickers. They eat primarily insects, especially beetles and ants, on the ground. George, John, and the Prairie Enthusiasts just conducted a prairie burn on top of the bluff. The flicker was probably feeding on the newly bare ground when Newman caught it. Northern flickers are a favorite food of peregrine falcons, probably because they are large, abundant, and easy to catch. We find their feathers at almost every nest we go to.
Will Zooey lay another egg? Will her single egg hatch? At this point, we don’t think she’ll lay another egg. Two year-old falcons sometimes lay full clutches and sometimes don’t. Newman has been keeping her in top condition – as watchers have pointed out, he would lay the eggs himself if he could! – and Zooey has been responsive to his attention, but she should have laid another egg by now. Will their single hatch? They haven’t spent much time incubating it, which makes sense, since falcons don’t enter full incubation until the third egg in a four egg clutch. Incubatory behavior is heavily dependent on hormones (instinct is weird) and Zooey’s hormonal regime isn’t quite there yet.
In other peregrine news, eggs should begin hatching at the Great River Energy peregrine falcon nest on or around April 28. You can watch them here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/great-river-energy-falcons/.
April 21, 2021: The kestrels have a conversation. She is at left and he is at right. Unusual for raptors, American kestrels have sexually dimorphic plumage.
April 21, 2021: American Kestrels Have A Conversation, Switch Incubation Duties – https://youtu.be/hrGbH4U1p2c. The male is incubating when the female comes in. They have a conversation, perhaps about who’s turn it is to incubate! – and he flies out. They are beautiful birds and I love their discussion and body language!