More pics from the field! We finished cam work in Decorah on September 27th. Overall, we installed five cameras (two at the north nest and three at a new nest) and two microphones, cleaned eleven cameras, trimmed trees, measured the North nest and our new nest, took some unused equipment down, and built a starter nest at N1.
We are turning the streams back on Saturday, October 9, at noon nest time (central) and our wonderful volunteers are planning a special welcome back chat from 12 noon to 3 pm CDT! We look forward to seeing our eagles and all of you once again! Thank you for being so patient during our off season!
Decorah Eagles: N2B and N1
N2B looked great, if a little forlorn. We cleaned cameras, removed grass from the nest, and left two delicious fishy treats for Mom and DM2. Although they haven’t picked them up yet, hatchery staff and boots on the ground report seeing them almost every morning, so we remain hopeful.
The subadult starter nest at N1 was pretty much gone by last October, so we built a new one with sticks and mulch from the Decorah Yard Waste Site, aka Mulch Mountain! I wish we had one of these where I live! What are we going to call this nest if Mom and DM2 (or any other eagles) take it over? That’s a question for future us. In the meantime, we are crossing our talons for them at either nest.
We’re getting some questions about the hatchery pond. Why was it drained? The Iowa DNR needed to replace some cracked concrete and sludge out their water system, starting from the very top (the settling ponds) through the very bottom (the retention ponds). There isn’t a problem with contaminants or dangerous materials, but there is a lot of mud in the system after twelve or so years without a flush. John met with Brian to stress the importance of getting the work done quickly, or at least getting the retention pond filled again ASAP.
Decorah North Eagles: The North Nest
The North nest looked great! We replaced two cameras, did some trimming, and measured the nest. This nest is 55 feet off the ground, although our highest work platform is closer to 65 feet. At its widest diameter (outer stick to outer stick) it measures 12 feet (east/west) by 8.25 feet (north/south). The internal measurement, aka the nest bowl, measures 6 feet (east/west) by 6.25 feet (north/south). We saw a little bit of Mr. North and DNF while we were there and camop Spish captured some beautiful pictures of them on September 23 (about ten days after our last visit) and September 28. We look forward to seeing them again!
A New Nest
This nest belongs to a new pair of eagles in the Decorah area: not Mom and DM2 or Mr. North and DNF. It is intended to be a backup nest and doesn’t yet have power or connectivity, which means we may not put it online this year. In the meantime, a little information about this site:
- We believe eagles have been nesting there since at least 2012.
- The nest measures 10 feet by 7 feet at its widest diameter (outer stick to outer stick) and 8 feet by four feet in the nest bowl. It is 55 feet off the ground and roughly seven feet high.
- The eagles successfully produced two young this year.
- We did not find much in the way of prey remains in the nest, but we did find part of a fawn deer carcass and a raccoon skull below the nest.
The landowner and neighbors would like to keep the location private. We’re respecting their wishes and ask everyone else to do the same.