Will the Decorah Fledglings go to the hatchery?

What will D37, D38, and D39 do once they’ve fledged? Will they go to the hatchery or stay near N3? They aren’t telling us either way, but here’s what we know based on Brett’s transmitter studies:

  • All of the Decorah eaglets we’ve tracked fledged in mid-to-late June. Almost all of them stayed within a mile of their natal nest until late July or early August. The only exceptions were 2014 fledglings Indy and Four. After blackflies drove the eaglets out of the nest, Indy turned up at the Decorah mulch pile, 1.2 miles northeast of the nest, seven days after fledge. We trapped his sister Four and reunited the two at the mulch pile on June 29. Four flew out to Bluffton, 7.9 miles from the nest, on July 18. She returned to Decorah two days later and stayed until mid-October.
  • With the exception of D1, most of our eaglets ranged slowly outwards as they gained their wings. D1 remained within one mile of her nest until August 14, 2011, when she traveled 33 miles into southeast Minnesota. By August 18, she had flown another 147 mi to northwest Wisconsin; an impressive debut of her flight ability.

N3 is over a mile from the hatchery and has plenty of places to eat, find cover, and learn to fly. If the new fledglings behave as they usually do, we won’t see them at the hatchery until late July or early August: four weeks or more after fledge. But if Mom or DM2 change their focus, we could see all three of them a little earlier. We’ll keep everyone posted!