Story and photos by Robin Brumm
I decided to go to Decorah on Saturday, so I got up at dark O’clock, and off I went! The oldest eaglet, D37, should be about 76 days old (give or take a day or two), and within the fledge window. Although I wasn’t really expecting to see a fledge, I was hoping to at least see some branching or hovering.
Saturday, June 19: Branching
When I got to the nest, there was a parent on the perch tree next to the nest tree, and one of the eaglets was on a branch several feet above the nest. Hmmm, it looks like we have a brancher!! Another eaglet looked like it was eating something, and the third one was watching. There was a flurry of wing flapping and then they must have worn themselves out because they all took a little nap.
Saturday, June 19: Hovering
The eaglets finally woke up again and did some more wingercising. One eaglet flapped it’s wings, and flap-hopped onto the side branch where the parents often perch. All of a sudden I saw a parent flying around above the nest. It circled around the area and flew into the nest. I saw a lot of wings, and then the parent hopped to the side branch. I zoomed in on the parent and saw that it was DM2. The eaglets started wingercising again and as DM2 was watching, one of them hovered several feet above the nest! That was really fun to see, and I’m really glad it was in the center of the nest when it hovered!! (Not that I was worried or anything, lol) DM2 then flew over to the perch branch and Mom flew off.
Saturday, June 19: Mom and DM2
There was a bunch more wingercising by the eaglets and a lot of standing along the rails and watching the parents. A little bit later, Mom flew into the nest. All the eaglets were bent over so I assume she brought food with her. Mom stayed on the nest for a long time. Every once in a while she would bend over like she was watching to see if the eaglets needed any help unzipping the prey. Finally she flew to the left side branch, and then flew to the perch tree next to DM2. I could hear them vocalizing when she flew over there. The eaglets did a little more flapping and hopping and then stood at the side rail watching the parents. I wonder if the eaglets were squeeing at the parents the whole time they were watching them, lol.
Finally it was starting to get hot and I decided to head home. It was an excellent eagle watching day. I got to see some branching and an awesome hover! On the way home I wondered if one, two or all the eaglets were branching to that branch above the nest, or to the right branch of the tree. It’s too bad they weren’t wearing their name tags! Maybe the next time I go, somebirdy will fledge!
*****BREAKING NEWS/UPDATE!! Izzysamlikeseagles was in Decorah on Sunday and saw a fledgling!! We will post something soon! Stay tuned!
RRP appreciates Robin’s generosity in sharing her photos and reminds you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written consent.