Story and Photos by Robin Brumm
I went to Decorah again on Wednesday. Since Izzy reported that we had a fledge on Sunday, I wanted to see if any more had fledged, or if I could see the fledgling. When I got to the N3 area, there were 2 eaglets on the nest and both parents in the perch tree near N3. I scanned all the trees in the area and didn’t see the third eaglet. The area is full of trees, and foliage, so it is like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
6-23-21: Two eaglets in N3
Meanwhile, the two eaglets on the nest were doing lots of wingercising and branching to other limbs of the nest tree. One eaglet was getting antsy, raising its wings, and doing lots of triangulating. Eagles triangulate by bobbing their head or moving it in circles to determine how far away an object is located. It looks like they are mapping out their flight plan! Suddenly, at 8:53am, it flew off the right side of the nest, flew toward the perch tree, and then banked to the right into a tree. I don’t know if that was its first flight from the tree, or if it has flown off the nest before, so I’m not sure that would be considered its fledge. I scanned all the trees with my binoculars, but I could not find the fledgling after that.
6-23-21: DM2 left, Mom right, on the perch tree
Suddenly Mom and DM2 both flew off. I didn’t see where they went so I was watching the eaglet on the nest. All of a sudden I heard some vocalizations, and looked up to see the parents circling high above the area. They soared higher and higher until I could no longer see them. A few minutes later, Mom landed on the left side of the nest tree, and a bit later, DM2 flew in and perched above the nest. I wonder if they were showing the eaglets how to soar?
6-23-21: Fledgling on the dead tree near N3
Around 12:30pm, I noticed somebirdy perched in a dead tree near N3. I looked through my binoculars and it was a fledgling! Yay, one of the fledglings!! The juvie stayed in the dead tree for about 45 min. and then flew to a branch above the nest. I’m guessing that the juvenile perched in the dead tree and above the nest, was the juvenile that fledged on Sunday. If the second fledgling just recently fledged, it probably wouldn’t be landing in those spots yet, because landings are hard and take practice! Lol When the juvie flew to above the nest, DM2 flew over to the perch tree next to the nest tree. So now there was one fledgling above the nest, one eaglet in the nest, Mom on the left side of the nest tree and DM2 in the perch tree, and I don’t know where the other juvie was. Whew! It’s hard to keep track of everyone! Lol.
6-23-21: Four of the five Decorah Eagles family. Can you find the four of them?
Mom flew over to the perch tree near DM2, and the juvie dropped down into the nest. By this time, it was getting hot, so I decided to leave. I was wishing I would have seen the other fledgling, but if it did fledge earlier today, it would probably be perched somewhere in a tree. Most fledglings I have observed take some time to get their bearings before flying again, so I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t see it. I hope next time I go to Decorah, the third eagle will have fledged, and I will be able to get photos of all three fledglings!
6-23-21: Eaglet wingercising in N3
UPDATE FROM SATURDAY: A friend of mine is in Decorah and reported that all three eaglets have fledged!
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