Story and Photos by Robin Brumm
I was due for a day trip, so Monday morning I got up at dark o’clock and headed to Decorah. As I was coming around a curve down from the hatchery, I saw an eagle on the maple tree. I got a big smile on my face, and assumed it was Mom. As I got to the corner, I stopped and may have squeed a little bit, because both Mom and DM2 were there! It had been a long time since I had seen them both on the maple, and so close together! I know that DM2 can be skittish, so I slowly pulled around the corner and onto the other side of the road. DM2 didn’t fly off, but he sure kept an eye on everything going on in the area.
August 30, 2021: Mom and DM2 on the Maple
All of a sudden both Mom and DM2 called out. I saw a third eagle fly over and DM2 gave chase. At first, I thought it was a juvie, but after zooming in on my camera, I noticed that it was a sub-adult and starting to get some white on its head. The SA flew toward the pine trees behind the hatchery offices, but I didn’t see where either DM2 or the SA landed. A little while later, Mom called out again and the SA did a fly over. Mom flew off after it, and both of them circled around the hatchery raceways and the SA flew back and landed in the pine trees again. After a quick stop in the pines, Mom flew back to the maple tree.
August 30, 2021: A subadult in the pine trees
Mom was keeping an eye on the SA, but she must have wanted breakfish, because she flew off the maple toward the large hatchery pond. She swooped down and caught a fish, then flew over to her favorite place to eat, the horse pasture tree. As soon as Mom caught the fish, the SA flew out of the pine tree and followed her to the horse pasture tree. It landed on a branch above Mom. I saw another eagle flying out of the corner of my eye. It was DM2! I’m not sure where he came from, but he chased the SA and knocked it out of the horse pasture tree. The SA flew back to the pine trees, while DM2 flew to the dead tree that is upstream from N1.
August 30, 2021: Mom warning the sub-adult to stay away
After Mom finished her fish, she flew back to the maple tree. She perched there a while keeping an eye on the SA. Eventually, Mom flew to the pines to chase away the SA. The SA flew toward N1, but I couldn’t see where it went. Mom flew back to the maple. I changed the battery in my camera, looked up at the maple, and Mom was gone. I looked all over and couldn’t see her, then I saw her coming from the direction of the pine trees chasing the SA. The SA flew toward the north, over the hatchery and N1, and flew over the bluff out of sight. Meanwhile, Mom had flown back to the maple tree. Mom perched there for quite a while until she flew off toward the large hatchery pond and caught another fish. She ate it in the horse pasture tree, and then flew off upstream behind N1 and disappeared.
August 30, 2021: Mom on the maple
After waiting a couple of hours, I decided it was time for me to fly… Umm… I mean, drive home, Lol. Although there was a lot of action today, it all took place in about 2 ½ hours. At times, I felt like I was watching a tennis match! I was disappointed that I didn’t see any of the juvies, but I was expecting that they had already dispersed from the area. Even though I didn’t see any juvies, it was still a great day because I got to see both Mom and DM2 at the hatchery and defending their territory. I hope the next time I go on a day trip, that I will get to see them both again… and if they could stay in one spot a little longer that would be great! lol
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.