It’s been a very busy few weeks! Since May 20, we’ve banded 73 falcons, cheered DN13’s fledge, said goodbye to the Wisconsin kestrels, treated the lone nestling falcon at GSB for ectoparasites, and watched an unknown young adult eagle check out N2B. Thanks so much for watching, sharing, learning, and caring – and for your patience during our busiest season! We’re wrapping up our sites this week and will be returning to our regular program of video round-ups, eagle travelogues, odds and ends, and more information about our upcoming After the Fledge party!
June 14, 2021: A stranger brings dried grass to N2B
June 14, 2021: Stranger brings fluff to N2B – https://youtu.be/kUAr8Cm40UQ. This eagle isn’t a subadult – still, it reminds me of last year’s subadult eagle at N1. The young stranger brings in some grass and is harassed by a Red-winged Blackbird. Do Mom and DM2 know? If so, will they react? D37, D38, and D39 should be fledging soon. While they will most likely stick close to N3 for the first three to four weeks, fledge should change nest dynamics considerably. We’re looking forward to learning a little more about Mom and DM2’s plans this fall, especially since N2B remains a draw for wandering eagles even as the two continue to defend it.
June 13, 2021: A Close Look At Overnight Eagle Visitor – https://youtu.be/Q50j_RhOg28.
June 12, 2021: Stranger spends the night on the nest tree – https://youtu.be/lMcwwg5-QA4.
Decorah North Eagles
June 14, 2021: A sizeable cropzilla lurks beneath DN14’s beautiful juvenile feathers!
June 14, 2021: DN14 gets dinner lying down – https://youtu.be/YGrhPm0DOfI. Mr. North feeds his hungry eaglet!
I know that a lot of you believe DN13 is a male and DN14 is a female based on size, development, and behavior. So what, if anything, does fledge tell us about eaglet sex? Male eaglets develop faster than their female counterparts and tend to leave the nest earlier. While we aren’t going to declare an official sex without measuring (large males and small females can be very tricky to sex), DN13 fledged at 78 days old. As of this post, DN14 is 79 days old and we’re still waiting for fledge.
June 13, 2021: DN14 close-ups, vocals – https://youtu.be/hnQz80xP0is. While most of us would like a little rain, there is an upside to the dry weather! Remember the black flies last year, or in 2019 – the year it didn’t stop raining? We’re seeing very few gnasty gnats this year, leaving DN14 to explore the front porch in peace!
June 13, 2021: DN13 take-off – https://youtu.be/hnQz80xP0is. DN13 is officially in flight school! Nest ‘touch and goes’ help DN13 gain confidence and improve those all-important landing skills…although DN14 hasn’t yet decided to follow its sibling into the unknown. I believe that our latest fledge happened at 81 days, so it won’t be long now!
June 12, 2021: Food delivery, great mantles, steals, vocals – https://youtu.be/FILNYzDrN5k. Watch out for your toes, Mr. North! I had to chuckle at the dynamic duo’s screeing and frantic food fight, and this video gives us a great chance to compare size between DN14 (at left early in the video), DN13 (at right), and Dad Mr. North!
June 12, 2021: Heraldic poses, wing stretches – https://youtu.be/IgP9MThJIOs. Beautiful!
Great Spirit Bluff Falcons
June 14, 2021: A falcon family – Zooey, chick, and Newman
June 13, 2021: Eyass tries to self feed – https://youtu.be/ygGnrExk-2k. Our unnamed little falcon is doing considerably better since we treated it for ectoparasites. It turned eleven days old on June 13 and I believe we can see thermal down emerging in tracts along its belly! A number of you have expressed concern about the lack of feathers given all the pink skin we can see on its underparts. Zooey has been very diligent about shuffling and moving – a not uncommon behavior for first-time falcon parents – and it is possible some of the nestling’s natal down was rubbed away. A serious parasite infestation can also delay growth, which might be why we’re just starting to see some behaviors and features we might normally have expected a few days ago. Either way, the little falcon is doing much better and I loved Newman’s feeding!
June 11, 2021: Breakfast and a clean up for Zooey’s chick – https://youtu.be/E6StRiGvnpc. Zooey appears to be removing ectoparasites. Hippoboscid flies come in on prey. They are fairly common and aren’t usually dangerous. Parent falcons will often remove them by eating them, which I believe is what we are seeing here.
June 10, 2021: Great Air Show – https://youtu.be/SRPYgDVNwGs. What a treat! Just a quick FYI – the Blue Angels were nowhere near our falcons, although we can hear Zooey chupping to her chick throughout the video.